N$50 Million for Aviation Training

THE government will spend N$50 million on training locals in various civil aviation skills under the Directorate of Civil Aviation within the next three years, ahead of plans to turn the aviation directorate into a parastatal.

Documents seen by The Namibian show that the aviation directorate made a proposal in 2010, and that Cabinet approved that the works ministry should be “authorised, through the Directorate of Civil Aviation, to utilise an amount of N$50 million for the 201415 financial year as provided for in the Operational Budget of the Directorate”.

Twenty-six Namibians are expected to understudy the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) experts who have been in the country for six years working on various aviation platforms.

The experts will have their contracts extended for a period of up to three years to allow them to implement strategies and train Namibians.

Angeline Simana, the DCA director, confirmed that there will be money set aside for the training, although she was not sure how much would be made available.

Although The Namibian had earlier been informed that government would bring more ICAO experts for the training, Simana said this was not the case.

Simana said the aviation directorate proposed to the works ministry that more Namibians should be trained to take over positions within the aviation directorate.

Some of the positions, according to Simana, are that of information technology, quality assurance and safety manager, air traffic safety oversight and senior personnel licensing inspector as well as aviation inspector, amongst others in line with the ICAO regulations.

“We do not have to bring more ICAO staff in for the training sessions because manuals and strategies have already been put in place. We will just have to implement them,” she said.

Cabinet also approved that the short to medium and medium to long term actions of the works ministry commence as a matter of urgency, with certain deliverable measures in accordance to the recently signed ICAONamibia Project.

Works minister Erkki Nghimtina was unavailable for comment yesterday because he is on leave, while his permanent secretary, Peter Mwatile, said he did not know anything about the programme.

Nghimtina submitted a report to Cabinet in August, pointing out that there was need to speed up legislation that would turn the aviation directorate into a parastatal.

In his letter to ICAO dated 22 September 2014, Nghimtina wrote: “I require ICAO to proceed with the recruitment and filling of posts as identified and agreed between ourselves at the earliest opportunity.”

He also said that the posts should be filled by Namibian nationals and that “given the availability of funds to proceed accordingly, this matter must now receive urgent attention to comply with a Namibian Cabinet decision”.

“Progress in this regard will also enable me to report to Cabinet that we are on course to meet objectives as set out in the above-mentioned project, particularly in relation to the desire to see Namibians occupying key positions within the forthcoming framework for the Civil Aviation Authority of Namibia,” he further wrote.

Source : The Namibian