According to the Director General of the Authority, Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw (Col.), ICAO will audit ECAA from April 20 to April 29, 2015. A team of inspectors, whose task will be auditing the working procedure of ECAA, will be deployed.
The Director General explained ICAO’s audit comprises of eight critical elements. “From one to five inspections will be conducted on ECAA while the rest will concern operators,” Wossenyeleh said.
ICAO was established in 1944 as a body of the United Nations (UN) under the Chicago Convention and its task is to monitor the global aviation industry. Among other tasks, it inspects and certifies countries civil aviation authorities.
On the other hand ECAA provides air navigation, inspection and certification of aircraft, airports, airlines and aviation professionals. The objective of the authority is to ensure safe and reliable air transport service in Ethiopia.
According to The Reporter, airlines that do not meet the audit of ICAO are not allowed to operate international flights. The Organization also investigates the certification process as well as the air navigation service of a country.
“If we do not qualify, Ethiopian Airlines cannot fly anywhere. It affects the existence of the national flag carriers. Private operators, too, cannot fly to other countries,” Wossenyeleh said. “The audit is a very extensive one and we are being prepared for that.”
The Director General explained he expects inspection to be very stringent for Ethiopian Airlines is growing fast and it is stretching its wings to every part of the world. He said; “The national carrier is now growing very strong. It has become the leading airline in Africa. It is now a global airline flying to five continents. So accordingly, ICAO’s audit will be a tough one. We have the information and we are preparing for that.”
Back in 2004 ICAO audited ECAA and the latter scored 67 percent, which is higher than the world average 60 percent.
It was only last year the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) audited ECAA and granted the Authority Category 1 status. Nonetheless, it first got FAA’s approval in 1998 when Ethiopian Airlines commenced operation to the US. Carriers cannot fly to the US without the approval of FAA.
ECAA has also made purchase of modern flight instruments like radar and ADS-B at the Bole International Airport and this has reduced landing and takeoff of an aircraft from three to seven minutes.
It has also allocated 102 Million Birr capital budget for this year. Out of this money, 30 Million Birr is going to be invested on the purchase of multilateration radar system and 25 Million Birr is allocated for the purchase of voice communication system with console. Other communication equipment and spare parts will be purchased in the current budget year.
On the other hand ICAO introduced new certification manuals which is forcing the Organization to re-certify operators including Ethiopian Airlines as well as private operators.
Source: The Reporter