Category archives for: Transportation

Mauritius: Enhancing Transport System Is Imperative for the Modernisation of the Country, Reiterates PM

press release

Government is investing massively in infrastructure projects in view of upgrading and redefining the transport system of the country. The New Access Road from Mare d’Albert to the airport bears testimony of Government’s effort in modernising the transport sector of which major infrastructural projects are prerequisites to better connect Mauritius.

The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday, at the official opening of the New Airport Access road in Mare D’Albert. The Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha and other eminent personalities were also present at the event.

In his address, the Prime Minister highlighted that this road infrastructure project is responsive to the needs of the country which is entering in a new era of development. He underlined that the project to the tune of Rs602 million, did not have a budget overrun and commended Omnicane for providing the required land for its undertaking.

Prime Minister Jugnauth enumerated several key projects that will necessitate a modern and reliable transport system to ease connectivity and facilitate business activities. They are: the construction of a second passenger terminal; transforming the port into a regional maritime hub; the extended Mauritius Container Terminal berth which will be fully operational by October 2017; development of a quay for leisure crafts and fishing boats at Vieux Grand Port; a new Passenger Terminal Building at Les Salines to accommodate both Cruise and inter-island passenger traffic; and the Riche Terre Business and Industrial Park, amongst others. Speaking about the drug scourge and social ills in Mauritius, he reiterated his intent on addressing the problem and the mission of fostering a new environment safe and free from drugs.

For his part, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr N. Bodha, reiterated that the three priorities of his ministry concerning the undertaking of the project were attained that is: no overrun of budget; completion of the project in due time; and quality work. He further underlined that the New Access Road has been constructed with innovative means and in the spirit of a new road design.

The New Access Road

The new access road, with a length of 4.5 km, to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport connects the airport to the M1 motorway through a southern bypass of Plaine Magnien. The proposed route is a dual carriageway of 7.3 m wide and comprises three roundabouts and a grade separator interchange with a fly-over of 120m long. The project kicked-off on 23 March 2016.

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Tanzania: Ethiopian Airlines to Promote Tanzania

TANZANIA’S premiere tourist board is poised to enlist the support of three airlines — Ethiopian Airlines, Air Tanzania and Coastal Aviation – in a new partnership to promote tourism via an indoor venture known as Swahili International Tourism Expo, or SITE for short.

An agreement to that effect was signed in Dar es Salaam yesterday between TTB and the airlines, paving way for staging a three-day tourism expo in Dar es Salaam starting October 13, 2017.

Code-named SITE 2017, the ‘expo’ will be staged at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, TTB Managing Director Ms Devota Mdachi said the expo opens another practical avenue to sell the country’s tourism attractions across the world.

“… In this joint initiative… TTB will be working closely with the friendly airlines and explore how best we could take tourists to places neighbouring famous attractions … and where possible, inside the attractions,” she explained.

Ethiopian Airlines resident manager Dahlak Teferi said the airline was proud to be part of the sponsors of the expo, adding that “Ethiopian Airlines looks forward to participating as ‘a dependable’ stakeholder in making tourism attractions in East Africa and the Horn of Africa known across the globe.

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South Africa: SAA to Assist Customers Affected By Flight Cancellations

South African Airways (SAA) will provide assistance to its customers after it cancelled flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong due to bad weather.

“We have taken a decision to cancel our flights between the two cities due to unfavourable weather in the form of Typhoon Hato,” said SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.

On Tuesday afternoon, the national carrier announced that it had cancelled flights to and from Johannesburg and Hong Kong International Airport.

Tuesday’s flight SA 286 from Johannesburg (JNB) to Hong Kong (HKG) was cancelled.

Flight SA 287, scheduled to leave from Hong Kong (HKG) to Johannesburg (JNB) on Wednesday, has also been cancelled.

The national carrier said assistance will be provided to all passengers holding a South African Airways ticket only via any SAA Call Centre, City Travel Office or dedicated travel agent with several rebooking conditions in place.

The conditions are:

Rebooking onto another South African Airways flight for a later date at no extra charge and subject to availability of the same booking class.

Change of cabin will not be permitted.

Change of routing will not be permitted.

This policy is applicable to South African Airways flights only, issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines.

Tickets must be reissued on/before 25 August 2017.

Travel must commence on/before 29 August 2017.

Customers can contact the SAA Call Centre and City Office contact in Johannesburg on 27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0860 606 606. In Asia, customers can contact the Hong Kong City Office on 852 2877 3277.

Customers can also visit the SAA website on https://www.flysaa.com/help/customer-support/contact-us, their social media pages on Facebook www.facebook.com/flysaa and Twitter handles Twitter.com./flysaa and @flysaa_care (customer service).

“South African Airways regrets any inconvenience to our customers as a result of the adverse weather conditions and we encourage all customers to visit our website www.flysaa.com for all flight updates and or flight cancellations,” said the carrier.

South Africa

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Kenya: Road Deaths Decline as Boda Bodas Adhere to Traffic Rules

By Magdalene Wanja

The number of road accidents recorded countrywide have dropped by 7.8 per cent between January and August 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

This translates to 1,795 people who have died in road carnage from January 2017.

According to a report by St John Ambulance, there is also a decline in the number of boda boda-related deaths, with 438 deaths reported in 2017 compared 474 over the same period in 2016.

According to St John Ambulance Communications Manager Fred Majiwa, part of the decline is attributed to safety awareness and formation of boda boda saccos.

Mr Majiwa pointed out Nakuru as one of the towns where the organisation of riders into saccos seems to be paying off as there is a general decline in the number of fatal crashes.

SACCO LEADERS

“The saccos have trusted leaders who engage stakeholders and well-wishers, including politicians in structured discussions to avoid abuse and infiltration by criminals,” he said.

He noted that some of the organisations have come up with rules to keep off inexperienced riders from the roads.

These rules include ensuring that any operator must produce a valid driving license before joining the rider groups.

“Unlike before when anyone could jump on a motorbike and start doing business, most riders’ groups now have governing rules,” he said.

CHALLENGES

Despite the progress, there are still challenges in some parts of the country where there is little compliance to traffic rules.

Some also ride under the influence of banned substances, endangering their lives as well as those of their unsuspecting passengers.

“The situation seems to be different in remote areas like Salgaa where there is total disregard to the safety rules. Due to reluctance in enforcement of the safety laws, riders oblivious of the dangers carry even up to five passengers without wearing protective helmets,” he said.

He noted that although safety trainings have been organised to promote awareness and curb the dangerous road behaviours, the recklessness is still on the rise in remote areas.

Salgaa is located along the 12-kilometre stretch of the Nakuru-Eldoret highway marked as a notorious black spot which has claimed hundreds of lives over the years.

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Nigeria: Minister Conducts Major Reorganisation of Nigerian Aviation Agencies (Full List)

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has approved the appointment, promotion and redeployment of top management staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA.

According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Transportation on Tuesday, Farouk Umar was confirmed as substantive Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Service while Gabriel Akpen was elevated to Director of Operations.

The Directorates of Human Resources and Administration have equally been merged, with former General Manager, Customer Services/Servicom, Maira Bashir, taking over as Director of Human Resources and Administration.

The statement explained further that Umoh Aniefiok, formerly of the Finance and Accounts Department at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has been redeployed to NAMA as Director of Finance and Accounts while Khalid Emele is to head the Public Affairs Department of the agency as General Manager.

Also, newly appointed are three Deputy General Managers to anchor some strategic units in the agency.

They include Kaosarat Fawehinmi, DGM, Project Management Office, PMO; Bajie Abang, DGM, Security Unit and Obioma Solomon, DGM, Industrial Relations and Discipline.

Similarly, in a statement Tuesday, the Managing Director of NAMA, Fola Akinkuotu, said the postings by the minister were to “reposition and streamline NAMA towards enhanced productivity and to ensure that all projects and programmes of the agency are properly executed.”

Mr. Akinkuotu, who held a brief session with the management team, thanked all staff of the agency for their continued support just as he charged incoming appointees to ensure service excellence and efficiency within the system.

The NAMA boss also enjoined them to ensure compliance with all government directives particularly the recent Executive Orders.

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Nigeria: NCAA to Register All Drone Users

By Chris Agabi

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has commenced the procurement process to build an online portal for the registration of all remote piloting aircraft system (drone) users in Nigeria.

The project is a part of the capital budget expenditure of the NCAA approved by the National Assembly.

Recall that the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, at the sidelines of the 3-day International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Symposium had said the Federal Government recently said it would soon commence full regulation of drones in the country and that unlicensed use of drones would be sanctioned.

“We cannot afford to allow drones to continue to roam about our airspace uncontrolled and unregulated. We will for sure regulate but we will not kill the enthusiasm of lobbyists and other users of drones; we will only regulate and make sure that we are safe and secure,” Sen. Sirika said.

The General Manager Procurement, NCAA, Mr. Diyajo Yahya Ahmed, who moderated the opening of the bid process, told our correspondent that the capital projects to be procured were safety critical and the response was impressive.

“We also opened bidding for the Remotely Piloting Aircraft System (RPAS), or drones, which is a new phenomenon in the Nigerian aviation industry. On the RPAS we advised for technical experts to design the portal for us so we can register all drone users in Nigeria,” Mr. Ahmed told our correspondent.

“We want some people who have remotely piloted aircraft or drones to come for registration when the online portal is ready. This will assist the NCAA for certification of all drone users,” he also said.

He explained further that the RPAS and other projects bided for were all those appropriated by the National Assembly for the 2017 capital budget of the NCAA.

“We advertised these projects in the Federal Tenders’ journals and two national dailies. We opened the bids on Monday 21st August 2017. Most of the capital projects are to enhance our safety oversight of the NCAA in the aviation industry. There are some that are to support our logistics and operations,” he explained further.

“The bid response was impressive. At the NCAA, we have a reputation for transparency so once we announce bids, a lot of people respond. We have never had problems with our procurement processes,” he said.

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South Africa: R28 Highway Undergoing Repairs

The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has appealed to motorists making use of the R28 to exercise patience and caution due to the current rehabilitation project taking place along that route.

Located between Sebokeng and Westonaria, south west of Johannesburg, the R28 has degraded over the years as a result of increased road usage by heavy duty trucks, particularly from the mines and farms in the area.

“The single carriageway provides a bypass for road traffic from the south of Johannesburg to the N12 and the North West Province. It essentially supports the agricultural and mining sectors of the economy,” said Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi.

The project scope includes significant road works along 29 kilometres; reinstating road markings and signage; replacing damaged signs and guardrails; clearing the road reserve and drainage structures, and cutting overgrown grass.

The MEC reiterated his call to motorists to familiarise themselves with planned lane reductions or road closures during off-peak and peak times.

He further encouraged motorists to plan their routes in advance to avoid delays and consider alternative routes.

Motorists are further cautioned to exercise patience as the department is currently undertaking a number of road rehabilitation projects which are at various stages of construction.

South Africa

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Kenya: No Salary Increment in New KQ – Pilots CBA

By Kennedy Kangethe

Nairobi — Kenya Airways (KQ) has signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Kenya Airlines Pilot Association (KALPA) that aims at enhancing productivity, ending three years of negotiations.

The new CBA comes with no salary increment but instead provides an opportunity for pilots to earn a productivity allowance for more hours worked beyond a certain threshold.

The move will see more pilots flying thus eliminating the perception of pilot shortages in some fleets and will assist in stemming pilot attrition.

The CBA is valid for one year covering the period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 with the implementation subject to registration at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

KQ Human Resource Director Sammy Chepkwony and KALPA Secretary General Captain Paul Gichangi signed the CBA on Tuesday.

KALPA called off a strike in October last year after fruitful discussions with Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph who had just joined following the departure of Dennis Awori.

Apart from remuneration, KALPA also wanted the resignation of the then KQ Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze who they had termed as inexperienced and lacking capacity to bring the airline back to recovery after taking over from Titus Naikuni.

Mbuvi Ngunze left KQ in March 2017 but is still an advisor to the board.

KALPA has also raised concerns over the two years of revenue loss, questionable recovery strategies that include selling its most valuable assets in a bid to get back to profitability.

The national carrier cut their losses by 62 percent in 2017 to hit Sh10.2 billion loss compared to the Sh26 billion loss it recorded in 2016.

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Tanzania: 60bn/ – Deal to Secure Dar Airspace

By Jimmy Lwangili

Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) and the government yesterday signed a 61bn/- deal for the purchase of four radars.Under the deal, over 10bn/- which could have been spent if the money was sourced from commercial banks will be saved, according to Works, Transport and Communication Minister Professor Makame Mbarawa.

Speaking at a brief signing ceremony, Professor Mbarawa said the government and TCAA would contribute 55 and 45 per cent, respectively, of the total costs. He said the envisaged four radars would be installed in four airports within an 18-month period.

The minister named the radar beneficiaries as Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Songwe Airport in Mbeya, Kilimanjaro International Airport and Mwanza International Airport.

He ordered Thales Air System SS, an engineering firm that has won tender to execute the project, to ensure that the project is complete within the specified time and at high precision.

“I believe TCAA will honestly and patriotically supervise the project implementation… I urge the contractors to work as per contract specifications.If you deliver contrary to specifications, the government will terminate the contract and subject you to fines,” warned the minister. He underscored the importance of purchasing the new radars, arguing that they will strengthen safety and aviation security, increasing revenues through attraction of more airliners in the country’s airspace.

“Upon the increase of airplanes using our airspace, the government will collect more revenues as taxes and fees. The tourism sector will also blossom as a result of increased airliners in the country,” said Professor Mbarawa.

TCAA Director General Hamza Johari said the authority decided to purchase the new radars to replace the available whose capacity has deteriorated due to long-term uses, resulting into excessive maintenance costs.

He further explained that the radar purchase also aims at attracting more aircraft to use the country’s airspace and boost the country’s earnings. “There are some airplanes that cannot be monitored by this radar due to its low capacity but now we will be able to monitor all airplanes crossing on our airspace,” he noted.

Mr Johari said under the project 33, TCAA workers will be trained by the engineering company on the use and maintenance of the new radars. He hinted that according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) study, TCAA has performed better, scoring 64.7 per cent this year from 37 per cent of 2013 on maintenance and regulation of aviation sector.

He asked the government to solve the challenges that face the Civil Aviation Training Centre, citing lack of enough space and shortage of training equipment as the critical hurdle, impeding its efforts to improve training and produce more skilled experts.

TCAA has also launched a new logo and website to improve its services.

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Tanzania: Radar Systems Deal Promises Control of Airspace

Photo: The Citizen

Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority director general Hamza Johari shakes hands with Thales Air Systems regional sales manager Abel Carr after signing an agreement in Dar es Salaam. Looking on is Works, Transport and Communication minister Makame Mbarawa.

By Alex Malanga

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania will take full control of its airspace in one-and-a-half years following the signing of an agreement for the procurement and installation of four modern surveillance radars.

The government, through the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), yesterday signed a Sh61.3 billion contract in Dar es Salaam with the French firm Thales Air System (SAS),which is expected to install the radar systems at four airports.

Tanzania currently depends on outdated equipment installed at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam in 2002. The country is thus able to monitor only 25 per cent of its aviation airspace, leaving the rest under the watch of neighbouring countries. TCAA director general Hamza Johari signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania, while Thales regional sales manager Abel Carr represented the contractor.

Mr Johari said TCAA would purchase the radars with internally sourced funds, of which 45 per cent would be from the authority’s various sources. The government will provide the remaining 55 per cent. He added that the project was part of wider efforts to secure the country’s air space, adding that the French firm won the tender through competitive bidding which involved five bidders.

“Airspace security is of paramount importance… with these four radars we will be able to monitor our entire airspace and beyond,” Mr Johari said.

The new equipment will be installed at JNIA, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Songwe Airport in Mbeya and Mwanza Airport.

Due to a shortage of the relevant equipment in Tanzania, the eastern triangle portion of the country’s airspace is currently being monitored by Kenya.

This has been denying TCAA about Sh 1 billion in fees annually from airlines using that portion of the airspace, according to figures obtained from the authority. TCAA has already written to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), requesting to be given the mandate of managing the eastern triangle portion. Rwanda is on record as having written to Icao, requesting to be allowed to manage the central and western parts of Tanzania’s airspace.

Speaking during yesterday’s signing ceremony, the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said he was hopeful that the country would be in full control of its entire airspace after the new equipment was commissioned within 18 months.

“The country is looking forward to having adequate capacity to monitor the eastern triangle, thus necessitating the need for the portion to be put under our control. “After getting the area back, Tanzania will be in a position to earn at least Sh1 billion annually, which it currently losses to Kenya,” he said. The eastern triangle has been under Kenya’s surveillance for the past 39 years.

“With the advanced surveillance system we are putting in place, I’m optimistic the area will be given back to Tanzania because I’m sure we will be able to convince Icao that we will be able to manage it effectively,” Prof Mbarawa said.

Earlier this year, TCAA installed a high frequency radio station in Tanga to monitor part of its airspace.

Tanzania Air Operators Association (Taoa) executive secretary Laurence Paul commended the decision to buy the radars, saying the move would draw more airlines to the country’s airspace.

“The bold decision to procure four radars could not have come at a better time. We need to convince the international civil aviation industry that our airspace is secure and that we are in full control of it,” he said.

TCCA has set aside an unspecified sum for training 33 experts who will be part of the team operating the new radars.

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