By ANDREW MUKOMA
WE need to work with Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe and find solutions affecting our countries’ airspaces, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Misheck Lungu.
Mr Lungu said the four countries should harmonise the operations of their international airports namely Kasane in Botswana, Katima Mulilo in Namibia, Vic Falls in Zimbabwe and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula in Livingstone.
He was speaking during the official opening of a multilateral coordination meeting to discuss the realization of safe operation of air traffic in the airspaces of the four airports in Livingstone on Tuesday.
“It has been noted that as traffic at these airports grows, it will become increasingly challenging to maintain safety margins due to the proximity of these airports which pose safety, technical and operational challenges,” he said.
He said that according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), intra Africa annual average growth rate is at eight percent (8%) for the next ten years and beyond.
He said that from there, it can be assumed that the same growth rate or similar figure would be recorded at the four airports.
“Arising from the above, it has become necessary for us to work together and find common solutions to overcome these challenges,” he said.
“Further, there is need for the four countries to develop a unified approach to resolve these issues, we are destined for development so let us leverage the resources we have,” he added.
The main objective of the meeting was to accord permanent secretaries from the ministers responsible for transport from the four neighbouring states to discuss pertinent issues on enhancement of safe operations of air traffic in the air space of the four airports.