The Minister for Transport and Communication of Zambia, Kapembwa Simbao, has said in a recent press briefing that he expects the European Union (EU) to lift the current ban on Zambian registered aircrafts.
In 2009 the EU included all Zambian airlines in the list of air carriers that are banned from operating within the Union, because of safety concerns.
In light of that the EU initiated the Aviation Sector Support Programme in Zambia, aiming at improving Zambia’s compliance capability with international aviation standards.
The project, which has been allocated a budget of €3m, is contracted to a consortium led by the consulting firm NTU of Denmark.
Since then the European Aviation Safety Ageny (EASA) has been working with the Zambian authorities to monitor the implementation of the program.
According to the EU head of co-operation to Zambia, Aad Biesebroek, the Union is impressed with the steps being taken by the Zambian Civil Aviation Authority.
Minister Simbao said that it was possible for the ban to be lifted in June 2016, after meeting the requirements.
He explained that Zambia had met more than 60% of the total requirements, which represents the pass mark to be included again in the European skyes.
Air traffic statistics provided by the Zambian the National Airports Corporation (NACL) indicates that in 2013, Zambia’s four main international airports handled 1.5m passengers, of which 1.3m (86%) were international and 0.3m were domestic passengers.