Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche says the government plans to unbundle the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) to remove conflict of interest. It remains worried with the state of affairs at Air Zimbabwe.
In a speech marking International Civil Aviation Day, Goche said funds were being mobilised for the upgrading of Victoria Falls International Airport, starting next year.
The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated on December 7 each year. This day is set aside to commemorate the signing of the Chicago Convention in 1944, which founded the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
ICAO is the specialised agency of the United Nations mandated to ensure the orderly development of international air transport.
The convention is the charter which governs and guides ICAO’s policies and programmes.
“The next step is to remove inherent conflict of interest and promote transparency at the Civil Aviation Authority, by separating regulatory and commercial operations by 2012,” said Goche.
Goche said the country had benefited immensely from its membership of ICAO, including access to ICAO’s expert advice, audit inspections, technical assistance, guidance material and skills development programmes for aviation personnel.
The government commissioned the large international terminal at Harare International Airport in 2000 and is funding the upgrading of the JM Nkomo Airport which is almost complete.
“The government is also mobilising funding for the airside and landside development works at Victoria Falls International Airport which should commence by mid-2012,” said Goche.
He said with regards to aviation infrastructural development and equipment modernisation, the government commissioned the large international terminal at Harare International Airport in 2000.
In 2000, the government removed or reduced duty on aircraft, aircraft engines and spares, with a view to enabling the industry to achieve growth, competitiveness and viability.
He said aviation has contributed immensely to world integration by reducing travelling time and connecting the globe, thereby transforming the world into a village.
“As already indicated in previous Press releases and statements, the government is concerned with the situation at the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, and is seeking a strategic technical partner interested in playing a material part in turning it around so that it can operate efficiently and profitably, and contribute to national development through providing links to tourism and cargo markets,” said Goche.
He paid tribute to foreign airlines, for continuing to fly to Zimbabwe in good and bad times thereby providing much needed air access to the country hence assisting to sustain the country’s tourism and trade, in particular, and the economy in general.