Sunday 16 May 2021
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HKIA races against time for audit

In its zeal to seal any security gaps that may exist at the Hosea Kutako International, Namibia Airports Company has been pressed against time to ensure that all internationals security standards are in place before the 10 day Universal Security Audit Programme- Continuous Monitoring approach Audit commences.
The airport will focus on nine key areas, namely Legislation, Training, Quality Control, Airport Operations, Passengers and Baggage, Inflight Security, Cargo, Acts of unlawful Interferences and Facilitation.
The airport is currently in Category 9, which makes it an international airport.
The Patriot has learnt that NAC is scrambling to get its house in order before the assessment on 18 November 2018 and contractors have been seen working non-stop at the airport to make sure that all conditions are met.
Questions have however been raised as to why NAC waited until the last minute to attend to the security shortcomings at the airport.
The scope of the audit is contained in a letter sent to the Ministry of Works and Transport signed by AVSEC consultant, Norman Sanyanga dated 12 October 2018.
Although NAC said the audit has no downgrade threats, the international audit, which will oversee other airports is expected to have a bearing on the credibility, reputation and image of the facility.
However, the consequences of an ICAO downgrade would be damaging. The UN watchdog red flagged Namibia’s aviation body in the past, claiming the government did not address the safety concerns around the airport.
Local civil aviation experts have however warned that should the airport fail to meet the set security standards, it could force countries to impose restrictions on new charter and scheduled flights from Namibian carriers to their countries.
Others have played down concerns of receiving a failing grade, saying that ICAO would likely provide opportunity for corrective action, and the body would follow up on their findings.
Namibia will be the first country to be audited using amendment 16 to Annex 17 to the Convention on international Civil Aviation. The audit will use 497 protocols as opposed to 483 that have been traditionally used in other USAP-CMA audits. The major additions are in passenger screening, cabin baggage and cargo.
Aviation security oversight is a function which enables States to ensure the effective implementation of the security-related SARPs and associated procedures contained in the Annexes to the Chicago Convention.
Critical elements effective on an aviation security system will look into primary aviation security legislation which provides provision of a comprehensive and effective legislative framework, consistent with the environment and complexity of the State’s civil aviation operation.
Aviation security programmes and regulations which give provisions for necessary national-level programmes and adequate regulations to address, at minimum, national requirements emanating from the primary aviation security legislations will also be up for scrutiny.
“State appropriate authority for aviation security and responsibilities will also be on the checklist to ensure that the designation of an appropriate national authority for aviation security supported by appropriate technical and non-technical staff and provided with adequate financial resources are well-jelled.
Personnel qualification and training to assess minimum knowledge and experience requirements for the technical personnel performing aviation security oversight functions and the provision of appropriate training as well as provisions for technical guidance, tools and security-critical information will also be assessed.
The check will look into making sure that personnel and entities performing an aviation security activity meet the established requirements,” the letter states.
Evidence will be gathered through reviews of relevant national-level legislation, regulations, programmes procedures, quality control activity and other documents.
Interviews with staff from the appropriate authority and aviation security service providers will also be conducted.
Other crucial evidence will be gathered through on-sight observations during visits to, inter alia airport operators, aircraft operators, cargo and catering companies, regulated agents, aviation security training centers, immigrations, customs and postal authorities and other aviation security service providers.
If there are any significant security concerns, the team leaders will present this to the State at a national briefing.
The full report will be issued 60 days after the audit, after which the State is expected to submit its corrective action plan after 60 days.
Significant security concern occurs when the State permits aviation activities to continue, despite lack of effective implementation of the minimum security requirements established by the State and by the provisions set forth in Annex 17.
Security related to critical aviation security controls includes, but not limited to the screening and the protection from unauthorized interference of passengers, cabin and hold baggage; the security of cargo and catering, and, access control to restricted and security-restricted areas of airports and security of departing aircraft.
A State would normally be given 15 days to address the significant security concerns, failure which the deficiency will be publicized on a secure website.
The USAP-CMA entails continuous monitoring. In order to remain compliant, there is need to continued institutional strengthening to ensure sustainability.
This would translate that NAC and the line ministry would need to set resources aside for this continuous monitoring.
NAC’s Marketing Officer Dan Kamati highlighted that works at the airport are underway, without giving specific details of progress.
“Please be informed that NAC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, are working on various projects at our flagship airport Hosea Kutako International Airport. Some of the mitigations will improve airport security and safety.
The projects are also aimed at enhancing airport experience for our stakeholders,” he said.
“We remain committed to properly manage the alterations and improvements at the airport in accordance with approved plans and relevant regulations, and indeed achieve this within the prescribed timeframes as set determined. It is worth noting that our work will continue even after the ICAO Security Audit set for November 2018, as it all about improved service delivery at the airport which is key to our economic development and the popular point of entry to Namibia,” Kamati added.
The Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein recently granted NAC exemption to invoke emergency procurement for the much overdue upgrade at the Hosea Kutako International Airport to the tune of N$95 million.

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