Staff Reporter Windhoek-In an effort to mitigate security concerns and thoroughly prepare for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security audit in 2018, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Limited participated in the Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security Programme recently. Namibia’s flagship airport, the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), last week hosted officials from the Airport Council International (ACI) APEX partners from the Airports Company South Africa, Office National Des Aeroports of Morocco, Airports of Mauritius Company, Dublin Airport Authority and Ghana Airports Company. The meeting, held from 11 to 15 December 2017, aimed to confirm commitment and declaration of ACI APEX Safety Peer-review Programme with the NAC. NAC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Lot Haifidi, said the exercise was an initiative of the board of directors, to get an outside view of their airport aviation security (AVSEC) organisation as well as to host an ACI APEX in safety in 2018. “This is the first of its kind to happen in Namibia for us to have such a team and we are highly grateful for their participation and subsequent recommendations that we need to address in order to improve the quality of our services. Their observation was an eye opener for us and we take their recommendations seriously and we are now mobilising financial and human resources to hit the ground running in addressing the issues,” Haifidi states. The experts called on NAC to streamline its operations to guidelines and policies to ensure compliance. “We need to be able to track and avoid incidents and when they happen, what do we do and how do we do it. We need to change our security culture at the airport as well so that everyone of our stakeholder has the responsibility to ensure safety and security at all times. This is not really about the ICAO Audit but also more about improving our operations and aligning how we do things per international expectations,” explained Haifidi. Upon request from the host airport, APEX can provide a security review of any safety area, which usually includes a wide range of security key areas and tailored to the host airport’s environment and needs. The review would also be tailored to the regulatory environment, depending on the areas for which the airport has responsibility. One of the benefits for HKIA, as the host airport, from the programme is enhanced level of security through increased knowledge of ICAO guidance, national regulatory standards, best practices and training needs/options. The airport also benefits thorough understanding of its own security performance, identifies areas for improved efficiency and better use of resources, allows access to a pool of expertise, facilitating the mitigation of any security gaps as required by its specific operating environment and Initiates a cycle of continuous improvement. NAC stakeholders such as the airlines, Namibian Police Force, immigration, customs and excise, and ground handlers, among others, attended the meeting. NAC is preparing to host an ACI APEX in Safety Peer-review Programme next year.
New Era Reporter
2017-12-18 09:29:17 10 months ago