Air Namibia’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) was renewed by the Directorate of Civil Aviation after months of auditing which included, among others, airworthiness and operational inspections.
But following a final four-day audit at the beginning of this month the certificate was signed and issued to the national airline on Monday last week by the Director of Civil Aviation, Angeline Simana.
An AOC is the approval granted by the national aviation authority, in this case, the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use its aircraft for commercial purposes. The authority looks at the stringent safety parameters that must be complied with by the operator.
The renewal gives Air Namibia the greenlight to continue flying within Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Germany.
“The audit will include inspection of your main facility at head office as well as other functional areas. The objective of the audit is to conduct analysis of Air Namibia’s policies and procedures to ensure that regulatory requirements are being met and an acceptable level of aviation safety is maintained,” said Simana when she notified Air Namibia about the impending inspection last month.
During the audit, the DCA interviewed personnel, conducted aircraft and facility inspections and reviewed the company’s programmes and manuals.
Air Namibia is one of the few airlines on the continent that has yet to record any crash of its aircraft since its inception.
When contacted for comment yesterday the airline’s Head of Corporate Communications Paul Nakawa confirmed that Air Namibia indeed received the renewed certificate earlier this month from the DCA without conditions.
“Yes, we received the AOC and there should be no secret about it. It is good news and our stakeholders, especially our passengers, need to know this. Good things are to be celebrated,” said an excited Nakawa.
Nakawa added: “In aviation we do not brag about safety because it is an intangible element that you cannot hold onto, but for our airline to receive its AOC without conditions testifies to our collective commitment to ensure that we comply with all safety requirements at all times.”
Air Namibia scoops regional award
Issuance of the AOC to Air Namibia came just days before it scooped the Best Regional Airline Feather Award from the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), beating established airlines such as South African Airways, British Comair, South African Express, Air Botswana, Air Mauritius, Air Astral, TAAG of Angola and Air Zimbabwe.
The purpose of the feather awards of ACSA is to acknowledge and thank airlines and all service providers who have during the year demonstrated an excellent quality of service to their respective passengers and customers.
The airports company uses parameters such as airport service quality results based on passengers’ experience travelling through the airport, on-time performance and the timely facilitation of passengers through check-in and boarding procedures.