Transport Minister Brian Mushimba
Transport Minister Brian Mushimba

Government says its US$1 billion investment in the aviation sector will increase the volume of traffic and passengers arrival in the country.

Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba says apart from this the investment will also increase a number of travelers transiting through the country’s various international airports.

However, Mr Mushimba says this development will also present a public health challenge to Zambia due to the threat of disease migration from some disease prone countries he did not name.

To this effect, the minister has called for a robust disease surveillance system and aviation emergency plans that would respond to public health events.

He said this in a speech for him by his Permanent Secretary Misheck Lungu at the 7th Meeting of the collaborative Arrangement of the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) Africa Project, in Livingstone, yesterday.

The meeting could not have come at a better time than when Zambia was recently removed off the European ban list after having scored an effective Implementation of the ICAO standards and recommended best practices of 62.06 percent. Mr Mushimba said.

“This means the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Zambia working with other key players in the aviation industry will need to work tirelessly to ensure that the industry continues to be compliant with international standards and recommended best practices to grow the aviation sector,” he said.

He further said statistics showed the African Continent is poised for growth in aviation, particularly in passenger traffic that is estimated at an average growth of 6.4 percent between 2013 and 2023 and an estimated growth of 5 percent between 2023 and 20133.

Mr. Mushimba said this growth required CAPSA member states to strengthen collaborative efforts to manage and control public health events in civil aviation.

He said government was happy the meeting had brought together different sectors in a formalized manner to support Aviation and Public Health Partnership in order to develop and improve generic national public health emergency preparedness plans.

“Government is confident that the meeting will entrench a positive culture in the aviation sector towards preventing the spread of communicable disease through air travel,” he said.

Earlier, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Deputy Regional Director Arthemon Ndikumana said CAPSCA was initiated by his organization after the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic of 2003 which he said exposed the flaws in the aviation system with regard to handling public health systems.

Mr. Ndikumana said it was envisaged that through implementation of the CAPSCA program, the aviation sector would take appropriate measures for preventing and managing the spread of communicable diseases of international public concern.

“ICAO is collaborating with the World Health Organization to ensure that the aviation sector plays a supporting role in minimizing the risk of spreading the diseases internationally and of travelers becoming infected, especially pregnant women,” he said.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Gabriel Lesa said the SARS pandemic caught many states by surprise and disrupted travel, commerce and industry with the aviation sector being affected the most.

Mr. Lesa however, commended Zambia Airports Corporation for its efforts in ensuring all designated airports had emergency response plans.

“In addition, the Air Navigation Services Contingency Plan has attempted to incorporate medical provisions as required by Annex 11: The procedures for air navigation services-air traffic management,” he said.

He said this in a speech read for him by CAA Director Corporate Services, Desmond Jere.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I hope it materializes. We pumped colossal amounts of money in our railways but the product we got is below par. Prof Chirwa had a perfect plan but when he started having presidential ambitions, you threw away the messenger and message

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    • Why does everyone support Chirwa? This man wanted to scam the republic with his stock option scheme. It is time we start gettting upset with symphoning public funds. That goes for Lungu and HH or Kambwili. I have never understood why ministers are allowed to get government contracts either. It is an unfair advantage.

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    • Give us statistics Mushimba not wishes. 1$billion investment is nothing to start an airline, and even if it was, do your research on the industry. You have failed to run Zambia Railways, Tazara and our road networks are terrible – now you are trying your luck with an airline? And look at the planes you bought, strange brand, the Russians use Airbus and Boeing, not what they sold you. You are sinking the country. Shame on you.

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    • You will be surprised to find that Perth Airport is small but very effective. When you arrive within 15 minutes you are already cleared. Now pa Zambia awe sure. Namufika but you spend 1 hour inside dealing with a tax man/woman and immigration. Asking you “what have you brought for us” some asking for dollar change. Awe sure mwandini. Not to look down on Zed but let us change. Also went pa Lagos airport awe mwandini nisotambe. ama delays, people looking at you aimlessly. Workmanship of the repairs truly done by an african. Africa katwishi mwandini.

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    • Very wrong analysis.

      If Zambian domestic and African regional air travel continue to be priced at the current rates, this 1 billion is money wasted. First make domestic air travel affordable, them move to capture the international market.

      The myth of foreigners doing what we can do for ourselves is killing Africa economically. We would rather benefit foreigners than support our fellow Zambians. That 1 Billion is not free, it is a loan and the lenders are the ones who will ultimately benefit. SHAME on us !!

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    • Procuring of planes is just another way of stealing public resources, when they know that running an airline isn’t viable but a loss making venture. It’s a new way of stealing national resources like they do even on simple projects like the shelter ECL commissioned at Chisokone mrkt. We’re told that a total of about K950,000 has been spent on that substandard shelter,which is against expert analysis I got that it should not have costed anything more than the K250,000 ECL donated, but they went ahead and plundered K700,000 council resources saing the money donated by Lungu wasn’t enough.

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    • Iwe ka juliet Perth uletandala. Come to big cities like brisbane and see how backward your ka Perth airport is. On Lun airport it’s true there’s too much inefficient mainly due to i don’t care attitude. The workers look very lost like villagers. The 1diots main target is ukulomba ama half at the expense of work asking silly questions like where are you from.

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    • THIS IS WISHUL THINKING. GVERNMENT HAS LAMENTABLY TO RUN THESE COMPANIES: ZAMTEL, ZR, NDOLA LIME CO., ZCCM HOLDING, ZESCO, NCZ, ETC, HOW WILL THEY BE SUCCESSFUL IN RUNNING AN AIRLINE? THIS WILL BE AN WASTE OF MONEY.

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    • The voodoo economics of most african countries have not worked,same applies to this aviation rhetoric .

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  2. No no Bwana Mushimba.It is investment in economic growth ,job+wage growth and making Zambia a trade/tourist hub which will improve air traffic flow.

    Right now you’re just placing the cart before the horse- mere wish of more traffic with no supporting industries or a supporting consumer market.

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    • ENKA – very correct. The fact that Zambia is investing this colossal amount will not in anyway make airlines and passengers re-route to the Zambian airports. In addition to all this you need to build or facilitate a robust logistics hub. The road infrastructure need to come on board as well.

      This is like gambling – hoping to win because we have placed a huge bet.

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  3. The thinking or analysis is very poor from our minister. Investing in tourism would bring more flight from different parts of the world and will create more jobs. $US 1 billion would go to waste.

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    • Just because the article is silent about investment in tourism doesn’t mean that the country is doing nothing about it. There’s a lot of progress in the tourism industry going on right now including other tourist supportive ventures. Don’t be narrow minded. Govt doesn’t operate like a tribal grouping where you just think of making babies only. It’s a collective operation mwana.

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  4. Wow… wish our healthcare system could get a billion dollar injection.
    I wonder how many Zambia lives would be spared with such an injection.

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    • Another 1mbecile above talking about health care when he even knows what’s happening in the health ministry. Is this what terrible means about donkey thinking?

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  5. Why invest billions int aviation when the basics are not right……..First change policies regarding visa fees, tourism levies, harrassment of tourists……the list goes on and then see if more tourists come to Zambia.This is another scam to steal public funds !

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    • @ MUSTAFA, You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!!!!

      “Why invest billions into aviation when the basics are not right……”

      All this money will go to other countries for airplanes, and then employing expatriate pilots, technicians etc.

      This industry needs to have the BASICS put right. Where are Zambian pilots? We have ZASTI but they cannot operate effectively because of an obsolete flight CLEARANCE SYSTEM by ZAF that deprives aspiring Zambians becoming pilots by killing the small aircraft sector – where pilots start out!

      This flight CLEARANCE SYSTEM is the biggest obstacle to aviation development in Zambia.

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  6. Doesnt sound like a good investment, lets have a comment from Hon Minister of Finance, never heard him talk about another Zambia Airways, has he removed subsidies from energy in order to sink the money into an airline? Why dont we have a national consultation like we had on Zambia withdrawal from ICC?
    This engineer Hon Mushimba and national airline sounds like Prof Chirwa and Zambia airways.
    Now UPNDonkeys dont get me wrong, to me you are at the bottom of the thinking pile, much worse than the very worst. Your brain only contains underfive who surrendered the good title of economic manager to become a career prisoner with running mate Gbm pulling the strings from the comfort of his Kabulonga house.

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    • @Terrible your comments are truly Sad. How did we come to this level of such unprovoked vulgar? Let not the unanimity of social media cover the good that is in you and all of us. I don’t see see how such a comment can leave you feeling happy.

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    • Feels like just light moments when you write this on social media but in actual sense you are fanning a horrible or as your name goes, a terrible fire thats threatening the very heart of our country.. Shame how jokes and social media are tearing our people apart.

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  7. The aviation industry today is far much better than the Kaunda era when only the president and a few privileged individuals where able to fly. Today many ordinary Zambian are using air travel and although its not a very profitable business, it can be sustained and grown at present level of passenger flow.
    The government has invested billions in constructing world class airports, its only logical that it should also invest in airplanes to benefit from effects that will follow.

    TRAVEL ZAMBIAN AIRWAYS

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    • You know nothing about the airline sector…even Airlines with deep pockets and fuel to burn are in a dog fight for the selfsame passengers.
      Nevermind these dull Grade 12 ministers who think they can make it in this sector because they are flying business class now.
      Wake up from your docility!!

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  8. Growth of aviation sector will lead to growth in tourism, in technology, in job creation, in revenue collection, in improvement in self esteem as a nation. This is what national development implies. When success knocks, then it is wrong to take failure as a mental fixation. Without political interference, the National Airline will generate more benefits for the country than disadvantages. When the annual report is out, it the right time for investors to think about improving performance in a sustainable way. The strategic plan needs to distinguish short, medium and long terms.

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    • It is the way round Dr. It is numbers of travellers to your country that will trigger the increase in passengers, pulling many players into the industry. The important question to ask is ‘what are the local private airliners operating in Zambia not doing, which the national airline will do better? Do we have too many passengers than they could carry? If so, maybe…otherwise make an environment better for more private airlines to flourish. Most Countries with national airliners are just holding to them for political reasons otherwise it is not good for our country with limited resources…even credit will have to be paid one day

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  9. “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”
    Let me tell you this….no where in the world has tourist numbers increased because the govt set up a national airline. Why is PF so eager to set up one, why do they not show the same hunger when it comes to Agriculture which is a more tangible investment? Simple Agriculture requires hardwork and sweat…where are these id.oits going to get a billion dollars?
    Please you Lazy empty tins cease this idea…please stop it you fooools I beg you for the sack of our grandchildren stop it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. The airline would be successful “Without political interference” sit back and think about that for a minute. Do you see cadres, ministers or whichever party leader willingly paying the full fare? Do you see the airlines commercial manager standing up to Kaizer or whichever party leader who comes with an entourage of relatives and free loaders? Have you been to a function at State House? Have you seen how cadres literally become beasts over food and drinks? Do you know the boma dips in parastatal coffers at will? Surely we can leave some things to the private sector.. Make the environment more conducive for creating the next line of African airline moguls.. Boma should continue doing well by upgrading airports and other transport infrastructure then let the private sector thrive off that.

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    • With or without Political interference, investment in the African airline sector is not advisible….your Ethopian, Kenyan, SA airlines are struggling at moment….no investors are putting money in there. These empty tins have lamentably failed to make in the lucrative Telecoms sector you honestly think they can survive in the cut throat airline sector.
      Instead of wasting $1billion dollars why dont you reduce tax on Jet fuel to attract more airlines to Zambia…there is a reason why planes fly to Harare first before the land in Lusaka.

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  11. The question you should ask yourselves is why did BA stop servicing Lusaka route? If tourist are not coming using other airlines what will be so special about Zambian airline to entice tourist to come to Zambia? Why not invest that money into agriculture. We need to do things we can do better than other countries.

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  12. Zambia is also very dirty. Don’t talk about other countries leaving cholera about dirty lusaka where Mr Lungu the president lives.

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  13. I’m sure the 1 billion USD investment refers to the various Airports projects ie new KK int, new Ndola Airport, improvements to Harry Mwaanga in Livingston etc.

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    • The sad part os most of this money goes out to pay foreign construction companies who cheap tastless buildings for premium price tags.

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  14. Government should seriously invest in a a new Ministry that should be called ‘The Ministry of Common Sense.’ Zambia would benefit more from a Minister of Common Sense. Arguably, no Minister yet is fit to head such a ministry when the likes of Kaizer are advisers. Stop jumping up so high with public funds!!

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Comments are closed.