HARARE, ZIMBABWE | The 20th of February 2023, marks the second anniversary of the “International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and Their Families”. The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), during the fifth meeting of its 224th Session, designated 20 February of each year as the International Day for Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their Families.
Zimbabwe joins the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international partners to stand with the victims and families who were extremely affected by air disasters worldwide. Safety is a top priority for ICAO and notable progress has been accomplished over decades of International Air Transport development. However, regardless of such advances, aircraft accidents remain a harsh reminder of our accountability to the travelling public to do more.
One of the key aspects of ICAO’s roles is through the adoption of Standards and Recommended Practices for national governments to ensure the provision of; timely and comprehensive information, care, and resources to accident victims and their loved ones in post-accident circumstances. On the 9th of March 2022, the ICAO Council adopted Amendment 29 to ICAO Annex 9 — Facilitation which has elevated Recommended Practice 8.46 to Standard 8.47, thus obliging States to establish legislation, regulations, and policies in support of assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families.
Every aircraft accident or incident resulting in loss of life is a matter of utmost regret and concern to CAAZ and the entire air transport community. The Civil Aviation Authority, as the Regulator of Zimbabwe, is making every effort to work in conformity with the stipulations of ICAO to ensure that the Zimbabwean airspace remains safe and secure.
Dr. Eng. E. Chingosho
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe
KNOW YOUR AUTHORITY:
Q: What is the mandate of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe?
A: In terms of Section 3 of the Civil Aviation Amendment Act, 2018 [No. 10 of 2018], the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe as the Regulator, is mandated:
- To promote the safe, regular and efficient use and development of air transport and provide air navigation services within Zimbabwe; and
- To advise the Government of Zimbabwe on all matters relating to domestic and international aviation.
Q: The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is under which Ministry?
A: The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
Q: What is Search and Rescue?
A: Search and Rescue (SAR) are services organized and rendered to aircraft in distress and facilitates rescue of occupants.
Q: Which International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex provides literature about the Search and Rescue functions?
A: Prompted by the need to rapidly locate and rescue survivors of aircraft accidents, a set of internationally agreed Standards and Recommended Practices has been incorporated in ICAO’s Annex 12 – Search and Rescue (SAR).
N.B. Zimbabwe domesticates the applicable Standards and Recommended Practices through relevant regulation.
Q: Do we have a National Search and Rescue Coordination Committee in Zimbabwe?
A: The National Search and Rescue Coordination Committee in Zimbabwe has been established. The Chairperson of the committee is the Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Dr Eng. Elijah Chingosho
Q: Where is the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC)?
A: The RCC is based at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. When the RCC is activated, public and private institutions suitably equipped and mandated for Search and Rescue operations are alerted and activated.
Q: How many Search and Rescue Sub-Centres do we have in Zimbabwe?
A: We have seven (7) Search and Rescue Sub-Centres located at the following airports; Victoria Falls, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Kariba, Buffalo Range, Masvingo, Hwange National Park and Charles Prince airports. Search and Rescue is operational 24 hours a day.
Q: What projects is CAAZ undertaking to enhance the safety of Zimbabwean airspace?
A: CAAZ is making progress in modernising communication and air navigation systems. The Authority procured and installed three Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Radio Range and Distance Measuring Equipment (DVOR/ DME) systems at Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Masvingo Airports. The airspace management systems will go a long way in increasing safety, regularity and efficient use of the airspace.