Thursday, October 3, 2013

■ BOTSWANA: CAAB dramatically improves its ICVM rating; taking active measures to resolve outstanding SSCs.

Following the visit by an inspection by a International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assessment team to Botswana in April,  to conduct an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), the country has now been as having achieved 59.6% of Effective Implementation as compared to 27.8% in 2006. The purpose of the ICVM was to check the progress made by Botswana following the safety audit carried out in May 2006 which showed at the time that Botswana was at 27.8% of Effective Implementation.

ICAO safety audits are regular, mandatory, systematic and harmonised and are carried out for all safety-related areas of ICAO Contracting States.  During the audit, a State’s compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and associated guidance material, as well as related Practices for Air Navigation Services (PANS) is reviewed. The outcome of the audit is also used to offer advice to Contracting States, as applicable, in regard to implementation of ICAO standards.

This Mission was a full-scale ICVM covering all the eight (8) Audit Areas which include:
  • Legislation (LEG), 
  • Organisation (ORG), 
  • Personnel Licensing (PEL), 
  • Flight Operations (OPS), 
  • Airworthiness (AIR), 
  • Accident and Incident Investigation (AIG), 
  • Air Navigation Services (ANS) 
  • Aerodromes and Ground Aides (AGA).
During the closing brief held on April 9, 2013 at the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) head office, the ICVM Team Leader, Mr Dhiraj Ramdoyal of Mauritius, informed CAAB that commendable progress has been made by Botswana since the 2006 audit. He further noted that significant improvements have been made in almost all the safety-related areas. The ICVM Team noted however that, despite the good work, there were two potential Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs).

One was from the Flight Operations (OPS) area while the other was from the Airworthiness (AIR) area.

Following verification of these SSCs by ICAO Headquarters, ICAO wrote to CAAB on April 24, 2013 formally communicating the SSCs and requested Botswana, through CAAB, to submit a Correction Action Plan detailing how the SSCs would be resolved.

In its continued efforts to address the SSCs, CAAB submitted a detailed corrective action plan with an estimated completion date of this month. The Corrective Action Plan entails, inter alia, re-certifying all air operators in accordance with Civil Aviation (Air Operator Certification and Administration) Regulations, which were published on March 8, 2013.

In addition, CAAB has been conducting a comprehensive structured review of all major modifications and major repairs done to Botswana-registered aircraft to ensure their compliance with associated civil aviation regulations and ICAO provisions. In the recertification, review and approval of modifications and repairs, the CAAB has been holding close consultations with and providing guidance to all affected air operators and is pleased with their cooperation.

These consultations and cooperation are critical to the earliest resolution of the SSCs.