The International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) has blacklisted the Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) following a routine inspection in April.
Sources close to CAAB have revealed that the aviation company received a letter informing them of the black listing and the placement of Botswana in the category of unsafe places to fly in and out of early this week.
Reached for a comment CAAB spokesperson Modipe Nkwe denied any knowledge of blacklisting by ICAO.
He said: “The ICAO team noted that, despite the good work presented by Botswana, there were two potential significant safety concerns. One was from the Flight Operations area while the other was from the Airworthiness area. CAAB is still in discussion with ICAO.”
He added that CAAB will closely look at the two areas of concern and submit the necessary evidence to ICAO to clear them.
Meanwhile CAAB blacklisting by ICAO means that customers from European countries will be cautioned against using Air Botswana or any flight into the country for safety reasons.
Even though Air Botswana and CAAB top management had wished to sweep this worrying development under the carpet, some officials within AB have raised concerns over their safety.
It has since come to light that some of AB employees have threatened to down tools if the issue of safety is not swiftly addressed.
For his part Air Botswana Public Relations Officer Thabiso Leshoai noted that their office has not yet been informed of any blacklisting.
“However we are aware that CAAB underwent an ICAO verification visit in April this year. Our understanding is that the results showed a good improvement from that of 2006.
We have also been informed that the results are preliminary and that a formal position will be communicated to the aviation industry of Botswana as soon as CAAB receives a letter from ICAO,” said Leshoai.
The Voice has since learnt from ICAO website that Botswana falls under the least performing countries in aviation falling way too short of the average Global rate of 7/10 in all areas of the industry.
The highest rate for Botswana is 5/10 in legislation category followed by airworthiness rated at 3/10 and accident investigation category being the least at 2/10.