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Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC)
Minister Ramsden Inagurate National Civil Aviation Security ...
07/07/11
Minister Ramsden Inagurate National Civil Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee.

 

Republic of Botswana

 

SPEECH BY THE

 

MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

HONOURABLE FRANK J. RAMSDEN

 

INAGURATION OF NATIONAL AVIATION SECURITY AND FACILITATION COMMITTEE

(NASFC)

Mokolodi Game Reserve, Gaborone

 

TUESDAY 5th JULY 2011

Board Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana,

Members of the National Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee,

Permanent Secretary

Acting CEO CAAB and CAAB Management

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to welcome members of the newly established National Civil Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee.   

Civil aviation security exists to prevent criminal activities on aircraft, air navigation facilities and airports. It includes acts such as hijacking (air piracy), damaging or destroying aircraft and nearby areas, and assaulting passengers and aviation employees.

Aviation security is today, high on the list of priorities of air travelers, the Government of Botswana, and the international community. In the early days of aviation, however, aviation security was only a minor concern.

Clause number 36 in the Botswana Aviation Security Act entrusts the Minister responsible for Civil Aviation with powers to select and appoint members to the NCASFC.  Members of the National Civil Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee in Botswana are appointed in compliance with Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which spells out functions and deliverables of the committee.   

Our aim is to ensure that Botswana’s airspace remains safe from any form of attacks by implementing the National Aviation Security Programme, in accordance with standards and recommended practices of Annex 17.

The Programme will be reviewed and approved by your Committee.    You will recall that during the audit of May 2008 the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Universal Aviation Security Audit Programme identified a number of deficiencies in Aviation Security and recommended a list of actions for Botswana to address.   

We expect to see tangible outcomes in civil aviation security, greater tourism growth as well as a boost in trade and investment for Botswana with the coming in of the National Civil Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee.

On-going transformations on airport infrastructure in the country demand enabled and sophisticated security systems to avoid compromises on aviation safety and security.  The Botswana government has taken a stand to include airport security during on-going infrastructure improvements. 

They include the new Terminal Building and parallel taxiways at Sir Seretse Khama International (SSKIA) in Gaborone. The terminal building will be fully operational by October 2011. The runway extension to 4 kilometers was completed in July 2009 and can now accommodate aircraft of B747-800 series, A380 or equivalent.  SSKIA will handle 976 typical peak hour passengers.  The Government’s intention is to develop Sir Seretse Khama International Airport into the Cargo Hub for Southern Africa, hence further improvements to the Cargo Apron and Terminal Building.

Francistown International Airport is also undergoing further improvements that include the construction of a new Terminal Building and support infrastructure.  The new building is almost complete and will handle 477 typical peak hour passengers, while the runway will accommodate Boeing 737-800 or its equivalent aircraft. The Terminal Building, Control Tower and the runway are expected to be operational by the end of October 2011.

Further improvements are expected at Maun International Airport in the North West of Botswana.  On-going works include extensions to the runway from 2km to 3.7km.  Further developments are expected to be carried out on a new Terminal Building which is expected to handle 617 typical peak hour passengers and the runway will handle B737-800 aircraft type or equivalent.  The runway in Maun will be completed by April 2012.  Tendering for the terminal building is being processed. 

Improvements to aviation facilities are expected to achieve the Government’s initiative to develop Botswana into a formidable transport hub in Southern Africa. This can succeed when appropriate security is in place in the country.

The domestic air transport market has been liberalized to allow private carriers to be established and operate services to various domestic points, an important step towards the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, which Botswana is party to. We expect more airlines to come to Botswana, and we should be on alert for any security lapses in the aviation industry.   

As part of the liberalization, private operators will be licensed on domestic and regional routes and could at a later stage be allowed to serve international routes   depending on their competencies.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, itself a fairly new State Owned Enterprise in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, is working round the clock to improve existing aviation legislation and regulations, which are now at an advanced stage.

I expect the Civil Aviation Act 2011 and the Aviation Security Act 2011, to go through the current Parliament Session.

In Conclusion I would once more like to thank you for gracing this important event. I hereby declare the new National Civil Aviation Security and Facilitation Committee formed and implemented. Thank you!

PULA                       PULA                 PULA.

 

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