By World Airnews correspondent Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe’s minister of transport and infrastructural development Felix Mhona formally opened the Aviation Training Academy (ATAZ) and at the same time – commissioned some air navigation aids – at a formal event held at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe international airport in Harare.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) board, Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) board, and management collaborated with the project contractor, China Jiangsu in the installation of the air navigation aids – the Doppler High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range Distance Measuring Equipment (DVOR-DME).
The DVOR is a radio navigation system used to aid aircraft in determining their flight position and direction about their destination, using very high-frequency signals of between 108.00 to 117.95 MHz sent from a radio beacon.
The Minister said that the DVOR is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard navigational aid that assists aircraft in their approach sending omnidirectional signals from ground radio beacons located at airports and runways. The signals are sent from transmitters located in a network of DVOR stations.
“The air navigation aids we are commissioning today are an integral component of the RG Mugabe international airport expansion project. The aids have all the qualities that are necessary to make our airspace safe by avoiding congestion. They require minimal maintenance and are readily usable in the most severe climatic conditions,” said Mhona.
He said seven airports and sites in the country would receive new ground-to-air radio communication systems for more effective communication between the air traffic controllers and aircraft in the national airspace.
Delivery and installation of the equipment are expected to be completed by the end of August 2023.
Mhona said the installation of two secondary surveillance radar systems at RG Mugabe and Joshua N. Nkomo airports would be undertaken in the last quarter of 2023.
He said that the projects demonstrate the country’s resolve to adhere to the ICAO safety standards that they are committed to.
Also, in a groundbreaking and historic event, the Aviation Training Academy of Zimbabwe – a fully accredited Approved Training Organisation (ATO) for courses in aviation security, air navigation, and safety – was opened.
Mhona said the training is highly regulated according to international regulatory standards.
The academy is expected to address the current acute shortage of trained experts in the aviation industry and to increase the availability of specialised skills in the region.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the 1944 Chicago Convention and a member of ICAO.