Home » Governance » Cabinet Approves CAAZ Unbundling

CABINET has approved a plan to unbundle the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) into two entities, a move which is expected to create a competitive regional aviation hub in the country.

CAAZ, which is wholly-owned by government, is responsible for regulating and managing Zimbabwe’s airspace and airports and unbundling the authority would ensure good corporate governance and efficiency within the aviation industry.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Munesu Munodawafa, told the Financial Gazette’s Companies amp Markets (CampM) that the new entities expected to emerge from the unbundling are the Zimbabwe Aviation Authority (ZIMCAA) and Airports Management Company. ZIMCAA would take over the regulatory role while Airports Management Company would be in charge of the commercial aviation operations.

“It’s correct, Cabinet has endorsed CAAZ’s unbundling plans. What this means is that the country will comply with the international best practices which dictate that the regulatory and operational functions must be separate from each other,” said Munodawafa.

“Splitting the parastatal is in the interest of good corporate governance as there was a conflict of interest as CAAZ acted as both the referee and player,” he said

Munodawafa said the process is earmarked for completion in the first half of 2015.

CAAZ was established in 1999 as a statutory body to replace the former Department of Civil Aviation meant to operate on commercial principles. The unbundling process comes as the authority has already invested more than US$30 million in refurbishing the Harare International Airport runway and taxiway.Last year, government released US$2,3 million to CAAZ for the upgrading of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo to increase its capacity as well as enabling it to provide modern facilities and services.

The airport has been under construction for close to 10 years with the aviation authority understood to have spent more than US$25 million in upgrading the facility.

CAAZ said it also requires more than US$400 million to invest in other airports’ facilities to keep them in line with international standards.

Zimbabwe has eight airports which have not been upgraded in the past decade due to the unavailability of funds to implement projects covering airports, airspace and human capital development. Smaller airports such as Buffalo Range and others require attention including the establishment of airspace navigation infrastructure.

Zimbabwe has also gained tremendous benefits from its membership of International Civil Aviation Organisation including access to expert aice, audit inspections, technical assistance and skills development programmes for aviation personnel among others.

CAAZ has also embarked on other projects as part of its three-year strategic plan adopted in June last year which among other things see the expansion of other existing airports and invest in the latest aviation infrastructure in a bid to turn around the country into a competitive aviation hub by 2015.

Other projects include the upgrading of the Victoria Falls Airport into a regional airport with capacity to handle wide-bodied aircraft and up to 1,5 million visitors.

Source : Financial Gazette

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