The Government, through the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), is working on upgrading air traffic control communication systems at the country’s seven airports.
CAAZ is implementing a project to upgrade the air traffic control communication systems to enhance ground to air radio communications at seven airports.
The airports under consideration are Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Buffalo Range Airport, Charles Prince Airport, Hwange Airport, Joshua Nkomo International Airport, Kariba and Masvingo Airports.
Modern systems have already been installed at Victoria Falls International Airport.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Felix Mhona said the Government was committed to a safe and secure airspace and would never allow a situation where any aircraft plying the sky is exposed to danger.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe continues to carry out its mandate of ensuring a safe airspace within given minimum standards expected by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” he said.
“For the record, ICAO recently audited Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport during the period 20 to 29 August 2019 and no significant safety concerns regarding the Zimbabwean airspace were raised.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe has an Air Traffic Services Message Handling System which receives and distributes air traffic related messages for local flights and international flights intending to fly into Zimbabwe or overflying the Zimbabwean airspace.
“The Air Traffic Services Message Handling System avails the aircraft operator and aircraft type, time of arrival at specific point at the border for flights from outside Zimbabwe, the flight level at which they will be flying and intended destination airport. The current system is adequate for controlling the airspace.”
Minister Mhona said in line with developments in the aviation sector and the need for continuous improvement, the Government was undertaking Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport upgrading which entails the upgrading of navigational aids systems and installation of radar systems.
He said the systems will provide national coverage for transponder equipped aircraft and enhance air space management through positive identification of the air traffic in the airspace.
The radar project, Minister Mhona said, will be commissioned by the third quarter of 2022.
“The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, would like to assure the travelling public and air operators that while awaiting the commissioning of the various systems, the highly qualified and experienced Air Traffic Controllers employed by CAAZ continue to use globally acceptable procedures to guide aircraft in our airspace and at our aerodromes for safe operations.
“The chances of aircraft incidents or accidents in our airspace are very unlikely as the procedures that are being used are acceptable by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and will be enhanced significantly through the modernisation drive that is currently underway,” he said.