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Minister upbeat over Air Zimbabwe audit
18/12/2012 00:00:00
by Rebecca Moyo
 
High stakes audit ... Air Zim facing test
 
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AIR ZIMBABWE is undergoing an audit by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to determine if the national airline in now fit to fly international skys.

Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication Infrastructural Development Morgan Komichi says he has his fingered crossed fo a IATA thumbs up.

"The last time they came, they could not do much as the airline's staff was on strike," he said.

"This time there is no strike and we hope they will be assisted accordingly as we look forward to seeing Air Zimbabwe resume international flights," said Komichi.

IATA is a global aviation body that works with airlines and the air transport industry to promote safe, reliable, secure and economical air travel for the benefit of travelers.

The body conducts a biennial Operational Safety Audit, which measures an airline’s system of operations, covering the operation of flights, boarding procedures and other aircraft safety
matters.

To retain IATA membership, members must submit and pass the audit.

Air Zimbabwe was suspended from IATA in September for failing to comply with global safety standards.

At that time, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche said the national airline had been given a grace period of up to November 30 2012 to comply with the standards.

If it fails to meet the deadline, Air Zimbabwe will be banned from using international airports and air spaces of other countries forever.

Said Minister Goche in September: “Air Zimbabwe is at the moment suspended from IATA. However, the national airline was given up to November 30 to carry out the audits.

"The letter we received is not that bad as they were encouraging us to comply with global safety standards and this we are going to do,” he said.

Auditors visited Zimbabwe early this year but there was nothing to audit as the airline’s workers were on strike.

The audit, done after every two years, is carried out by firms accredited to IATA at the expense of the national airline seeking certification.

The auditors, who come from various countries worldwide, include experts in the global aviation industry such as aircraft engineers, pilots, accountants and cargo operators who are former senior airline workers.



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