President Mutharika Says Malawi Needs State Of The Art Airport: Meets ICAO President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu
Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika on Saturday held an important meeting with Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the president of the International Civil Aviation Organization at Chikoko Bay State Lodge in Mangochi.
Here is what Mutharika said in full:
I am pleased to welcome you Mr. President and your delegation to Malawi. You are especially welcome to Chikoko Bay here in Mangochi. I have been expecting this visit since January this year.
I am sure you will agree with me, that Malawi needs an international airport along our beautiful lake. And we are planning to construct a state of the art airport here in Mangochi.
Mangochi is a potential great city. This district is beautiful, and it is already a serious tourist destination.
Lake Malawi is a unique tourist destination in the world. This lake has the most beautiful and greatest number of species of fish in the world. And along this Lake, we have some of the most beautiful sceneries of Africa. What we now need is state of the art airport for us to open Lake Malawi to the rest of the world.
My Government is committed to the aviation industry. We are already upgrading the airports in Mzuzu Blantyre and expanding the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe. We want to get connected to the world. We want to turn Malawi from being a land-locked country to an air-linked country.
Above all, we are making sure that we continue complying with the Standards and Recommended Practices of ICAO. This is why we are doing everything possible to reverse the issues in the 2009 audit about Malawi.
Among others, the audit revealed a high level of Lack of Effective Implementation (LEI) of 66 percent of the eight Critical Elements (CEs). This was the highest in Africa. Further, the audit identified a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) in the area of aircraft operations.
I am pleased to report that Malawi developed a Corrective Active Plan aimed at resolving the identified findings, and we have made tremendous progress.
We completed the process of review and promulgation of Specific Operating Regulations. We developed and issued technical guidance material for safety oversight inspectors and the industry. With assistance from the European Union, we also established an Air Operator Certification System.
I am also pleased to inform you that, in addition, we have reviewed the Primary Aviation Legislation, and will be tabled in the coming June Parliamentary sitting.
Mr. President, Malawi Government decided to establish an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority to regulate the aviation sector. Draft legislation is already before Parliament and we will ensure it is passed soon.
Mr. President, a lot has been done. And we are committed to do more. But we need your support. Through the technical and financial support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), SADC Safety Oversight Organisation, and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, we have trained some technical personnel and inspectors in various specialized fields.
However, core training is yet to be conducted due to lack of finances. I ask that ICAO assist us in identifying partners, but also continue advising Malawi as we are determined to being compliant to safety standards.
Finally, I wish to once again thank the ICAO for all the support you are providing to Malawi. Your support is greatly appreciated.
I also thank you for visiting us and I wish you pleasant stay in Malawi. But next time you are visiting us, I want you to fly into Mangochi.
Thank you for your attention.