The Parliamentary standing committee on economics and public administration chaired by Hon. Heather Sibungo conducting a consultative meeting with the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority at the National Assembly
|Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek - Even though the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has remained both liquid and solvent over the years, the liquidation of Air Namibia has resulted in a major loss of revenue that has changed the status quo. Air Namibia contributed over $46% of total revenue to the aviation regulatory body. The advent of Covid 19 has also aggravated the situation, with the aviation industry being one of the adversely affected sectors globally. So far 30 aircrafts have been deregistered from the national aircraft register in Namibia and exported to other countries due to the impact of Covid 19.
This information was revealed today (14/04/2021) during a consultative meeting called by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration.
According to Gordon Elliot, the NCAA Interim Executive Director who led a delegation of managers, this condition has culminated in direct financial support of N$74 million from government for the financial year 2020/21 to keep the organisation afloat. He Further noted that for the current financial year, the body required N$92 million but only N$55 million was allocated. A forecast in the budget predicts that, should the situation persist, NCAA would need over N$90 million annually for the next four years.
Elliot further implored lawmakers to amend the Civil Aviation Act and repeal outdated legislation in order to ensure the effective management of the aviation system in Namibia. Among the obsolete laws are the Carriage by Air Act no. 17 of 1946, Air Services Act of 1949 and the Insolvency Act of 1936. Other challenges mentioned during the meeting included the urgent upgrade of the Eros airport ATC software, the Aeronautical Fixed Telecoms Network (AFTN) and the radar and surveillance system whose lifespans have expired. Attracting highly skilled and competent personnel has also been one of the major challenges facing the organization.
NCAA, established as per the Civil Aviation Act of 2016, is a state owned enterprise meant to regulate Namibia’s aviation system. It conducts safety and security regulation of civil air operations and further provides air navigational services to all airspace users. It is among the many state owned enterprises falling under the oversight ambit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration.
The aim of the meeting was to look at issues related to policies, programmes and operations of the entity, the state of aviation and airports in the country, achievements and challenges among others. The Committee is chaired by Hon. Heather Sibungo. Other members making up the committee include, Hons. Natangwe Ithete, Gotthard Kasuto, Maureen Hinda - Mbuende, Dr. Tobie Aupindi, Apius !Auchab, Joseph Kauandenge, Fennie Nanyeni, Erastus Shuumba, Mathias Mbundu and Jan Mukwiilongo.