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Civil Aviation Authority Botswana

Developing air travel across Botswana


Developing air travel across Botswana Editorial: Tim Hands Production: James Clark

Constantly striving to develop the quality of air travel its populace is offered, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana has been in operation now for over four years and is charged with managing all of the country’s international airports. Behind every one of their operations is the desire to be a world-class provider of safe, secure and efficient aviation services, which helps to drive the Authority to continually develop and innovate the country’s provision of air travel, and make for a more comfortable flight on each and every occasion.

Established in 2004 by the Civil Aviation Authority Act, the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) commenced full operations on 1st April 2009 as a statutory Corporation under the ministry of Transport and Communications. Its mandate remains to promote aviation safety and security, while ensuring the regular and efficient use and development of civil aviation in Botswana. Now responsible for the employment of over 700 personnel, CAAB has also assumed responsibility for many of the functions previously under the charge of the former Department of Civil Aviation. As part of this mandate therefore it is now accountable for the regulation of air transport, providing air navigation services, managing airports and advising the government on all aspects of civil aviation throughout the country.


The continued development of the aviation industry in Botswana is a central factor in CAAB’s operations, and pivotal to its overall mission, as well as providing efficient and effective aviation services to its customers, striving unfailing toward its vision of becoming and remaining a world class provider of safe, secure and efficient aviation services. Behind all its efforts to develop and maintain Botswanan air services are a series of strategic objectives, all geared towards providing effective and efficient aviation services to the populace. Paramount to any dealings in air travel is that both safety and security are at all times at the forefront of every operation, and CAAB caters for both aspects to the highest degree. Efficiency also comes high on the list of CAAB’s principles, as it aims to make the civil aviation system of the country one which operates as effectively as possible.

Civil Aviation Authority Botswana

Closely linked are another two on the Authority’s principles; namely its goal of maintaining sustainable development and operational continuity of aviation operations in Botswana, whilst minimising any negative impact its aviation activities may have on the environment. Now more than ever before, the Authority is required to ensure that questions of safety and security are rigorously and effectively addressed, without exception. In line with this, its airports issue only specific passes exclusively to those who have obtained the right to access the given area, and only permit entry into the particular zone indicated on the pass. Upon entering airport restricted areas, all persons are subjected to security screening in order to ensure absolute safety throughout, while flippant remarks relating to any security threats are treated with the utmost seriousness and can even lead to

prosecution, such is CAAB’s commitment to maintaining customer safety. The airport is no longer a place where any leeway can be given toward potential breaches of safety, and CAAB recognises and acts upon this purely to ensure the lowest possible level of threat for the whole population. Passenger security is as rigorous as would be expected from an Authority of this size, with the extensive regulations all aimed toward ensuring a safe and smooth journey for all its many customers, with the strictness surrounding its safety a vital part of its effective operation, and its customers’ enjoyment of the travel experience. CAAB currently has four international major airports across the country, all of these being aerodromes of entry and departure for international air traffic, and where all processes concerning customs, immigration, health,


CompANY PROFILE animal and plant quarantine and similar procedures are carried out, and where air traffic services are available. These can be found in Francistown, Gaborone, Kasane and Maun, and are added to by the minor airports the Authority has dotted across the country, for example in Gweta, Kanye and Tsau – available for landing but without the facilities associated with its major sites. In line with the developments the Authority constantly strives to make, it has in recent times highlighted three of its international major sites for renovation and improvement – Francistown, Kasane and Maun have all received major refurbishment. A new three kilometre runway was constructed at the Francistown site in order to bring this airport yet further in line with the clear vision of CAAB, with a BWP41 million upgrade of its airfield ground lighting and power supply also taking place during this period. Likewise, Kasane has seen its own runway extended from two kilometres to three, extensive refurbishment of the existing terminal building and other buildings, along with provision of airfield ground lighting and a structural

Sir Seretse PAGE 4 OCT 13

electrified fence further heightening safety and security of the site, so crucial to the operations of this dominant Authority. Last December’s Boeing Aging Airplane Maintenance Programme Seminar in Gaborone, hosted by the Botswana Government through CAAB, was a three day event organized by the Cooperation Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme in the SADC Region. Conducted by Boeing, The purpose of this seminar was to provide Government Safety Oversight Authorities and industry with the most up to date information and recommended practices in order that older Boeing aeroplanes used in the transportation of passengers and cargo remain working in a safe, reliable and dependable manner. Clearly, a vital part of the development phase of CAAB’s plans is to re-fleet with new planes on a regular basis, but when the older aircraft in the fleet remain entirely suitable for their particular operations, and are able to be operated them safely as a result of the standards and recommended practices such discussed in

Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana ©Shosholoza.


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Interior of the passenger terminal of Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana © Iulus Ascanius. such seminars as this, it is easy to see why so many airlines, and particularly those in the SADC region, are opting to stick by these machines as their most reliable operators. Another important arm of CAAB’s dealings is the business opportunities it constantly strives to present at all major CAAB managed airports, always with the aim of providing essential services to the airport communities. As such, CAAB continues to develop retail concessions and identify potential new business opportunities at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA), Maun, Kasane and Francistown, and these opportunities strive to offer airport passengers and staff alike a pleasant and unsurpassed shopping experience. Always at the forefront of CAAB’s collective mind is the importance of passenger comfort, catered for extensively by the meals and refreshments so central to the experience of a modern airport at Maun, Francistown and Kasane Airports. One of the unique strengths of CAAB airports as investment opportunities is the sheer range of potentially profitable avenues it is able to offer – even within the traditionally limited field of paid car parking lie a whole host of different parking options for every itinerary and budget, in order to maximise both efficacy and profitability in each instance. At present, the four main CAAB managed airports are undergoing major renovations, and once complete


SSKIA, Maun, Kasane and Francistown airports will offer opportunities for a variety of shopping outlets, and crucially, both indoor and outdoor advertising opportunities to ensure exposure to brands around the globe. In May 2006, a safety audit showed at the time that Botswana was at 27.8% of effective implementation of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices. This was followed in April 2013 by an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), whose purpose was to check the progress that had been made by Botswana in the time since the initial inspection. The results more than doubled its achievements a mere seven years earlier, with Botswana rated at 59.6% of effective implementation. This positive rating is better than the average for Africa, which currently stands at 41%, and is almost equal to the global average of 60%. The extent of the progress made by Botswana since the 2006 audit was acknowledged by the IVCM team, who noted significant improvements in almost all the safety-related areas. ICAO specifically acknowledged the country’s commitment to achieving its safety objectives, with the Authority perfectly placed to continue to build upon the massive improvements in this short space of time, and offer to the populace an ever-increasing level of comfort, security and satisfaction on-board its aircraft.



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