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Aviation industry pushes back

Aviation industry pushes back

Staff Reporter

THE potential of Namibia losing its aviation safety certification as a result of a smear campaign against the management of the country’s civil aviation authority has increased exponentially.


Natalia Isak, who was already on probation when she was fired, launched a campaign to discredit the management of Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). She also questioned the ability of the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa’s oversight.


Namibia is months away from being audited by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for ensuring that local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100 000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.


potential Namibia losing aviation safety certification result smear campaign management country’s civil aviation


In a statement the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) of Namibia said that should the impending ICAO certification audit find the NCAA to be deficient, the entire aviation industry of Namibia, including all commercial public and private operators, will suffer great losses, further exacerbating the devastating losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The association made it clear that if Namibia loses its certification that stakeholders in the aviation industry will initiate libellous action against Isak and her followers.


AOPA Namibia represents the majority of the civil aviation operators, aviation maintenance facilities, aircraft owners and pilots in Namibia and as such is the mouthpiece of the Namibian aviation industry.


“We have taken note of the slanderous and racist attacks on certain senior NCAA managers, including the Interim Executive Director, Mr. Reinhard Gaertner. We wish to place it on public record that it distances itself from any actions taken by the suspended Natalia Isak and her cohorts, in connection with her slanderous and racist attack on certain managers of the NCAA,” the association stated.


The association went further and said it wishes to make it clear to the public that contrary to Isak’s public statements made on the official and social media platforms, she and her cohorts definitely does not represent the aviation industry of Namibia.


“AOPA further wishes to advise the public that the individuals from the NCAA management that are being targeted and victimized by Isak, were offered limited duration contracts with the NCAA in order to assist the NCAA to pass a critical ICAO audit, due to take place in October 2020. These individuals and especially the Interim Executive Director was employed following correct governance and procedures, contrary to the statements made by Isak.”


The association placed it on record that the individuals that are being targeted and victimized by Isak were employed owing to the fact that they possess the necessary qualifications, knowledge and experience to guide the NCAA towards the attainment of its ICAO certification and to raise the standard of civil aviation in Namibia, which has been sorely lacking.


“AOPA wishes to encourage the Government of the Republic of Namibia and especially the Ministry of Works and Transport to follow the correct legal processes in order to establish the validity or lack thereof, of the appointment and continued employment of the individuals who are being victimized by Isak and her cohorts.”


Should such legal processes find both the board of the NCAA and the victimized individuals from the NCAA management to be innocent of the accusations against them, AOPA would expect the ministry to enact the harshest disciplinary and criminal action against Isak.


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