Zambia unveils KAZA Visa

Posted: January 12, 2018 in general
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ZambiaThe Zambia Tourism Agency announced that foreign travelers to Zambia now have the KAZA Visa available for their use. The visa is already being issued at four Borders (Kenneth Kaunda International, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airports, Kazungula, and Victoria Falls Borders) in Zambia.

Previous terms and conditions governing the KAZA Visa remain the same. The visa is applicable to nationals of 65 countries in the Category B list on the visa regimes of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The KAZA Visa fee is US$50, and it is issued on arrival only at the four ports of entry indicated above. The visa is issued on multiple entry basis between the 2 countries and is valid for 30 days.

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KQ

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways (KQ) has launched its non-stop flight from Nairobi to New York with the commencement of ticket sales on Thursday for the inaugural flight which is scheduled for October 28.

Kenya Airways becomes the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the United States of America.

The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia. The opening of the US destination completes an essential piece for Kenya Airways’ network, cementing its position as one of the leading African carriers.

“This is an exciting moment for us. It fits within our strategy to attract corporate and high-end tourism traffic from the world to Kenya and Africa. We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa.” said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz.

With over 40 American multinationals located in Nairobi and many more across Africa, the launch of daily flights is expected to further spur trade between America and Africa.

Kenya Airways will offer its customers a unique travel experience between two great gateways. It will be the fastest connection from East Africa to New York, with a 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound. The ultra-long-haul flight, unique to Kenya Airways network, will require 4 Pilots and 12 Flight attendants as well as 85 tons of fuel each way, making it an exceptional operation.

The airline will operate its state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers. The flight will depart every day from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub in Nairobi arriving at JFK airport in New York the following day. From New-York it will depart at JKIA at 10:55 the following day. Its duration will be 15 hours east bound and 14 hours west bound.

Four Points by Sheraton LagosFour Points by Sheraton Hotel in Lagos has announced the commencement of a worthy partnership with Hennessy to create a unique entertainment experience every Thursday evenings at the facility’s Office Bar.

According to the General Manager of the hotel, Marc Wozniak: “Thursdays at the Four Points Lagos is now Friday eve, and undoubtedly described as one of the best events to happen on that day of the week on the island.

“We are inviting our valued customers to come and enjoy world-class entertainment alongside great Hennessy based cocktails to shake off the day’s work stress while taking in the panoramic view of the rooftop bar; savouring well-seasoned barbecued jumbo prawns;  signature ‘dodo’ (plantain) alongside our well spiced snail.

“Those visiting can be sure to experience some soul lifting live music performances from our band of the day and also dance to your own choice of beats during our silent disco every Thursday’s fortnight. Wednesday evenings is also not left out; as our customers can now get a bottle of Fantinel Prosecco Brut or even a complimentary room night according to the value spent.

“The bar opens every weekday from 6pm and 12pm on weekends and public holidays. Four Points by Sheraton Lagos looks forward to welcoming all fun loving fans to the roof top bar to relax and unwind,” remarked the General Manager.

Lagos TourismLagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has restated that his administration remains totally committed to developing the tourism, hospitality and sports potentials of the State and make it a must-visit and Africa’s best tourism destination.

The Governor who said this while flagging off the Agege leg of the just-concluded One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) at the Agege mini-stadium, explained that the event, which has become an annual event in the tourism calendar, is aimed at promoting arts and cultural potentials of the State.

He said the event is also aimed at encouraging youths to develop their talents in the creative and entertainment industry to compete favorably with their counterparts from other parts of the world.

Represented by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Ambode added that the State government planned to use the platform to grow the local economy and encourage the development of small-scale businesses, stressing that the annual event is remarkable for promoting the growth of local entrepreneurs since it started three years ago.

Ambode expressed happiness that the annual fiesta was embraced by residents especially the youths while assuring that the government would continue to run an all-inclusive government where everyone is a stakeholder in the administration of the State.

Ambode emphasized that the event which is staged in all the five administrative divisions of the state is free for all the residents to attend irrespective of their tribe, origin, ethnic background, colour or language, adding that ‘one of the strongholds of the success of the present administration is the peaceful coexistence of the people of diverse backgrounds living together in peace with one another.’

The event was well attended by people from all walks of life while different artists/ musicians staged live performances to entertain the audience.

SavedPicture-2017222144421.jpgOutgone Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Dr. Taleb Rifai, has disclosed that an estimated 1.8 billion tourists are expected to be on the move by 2030 and this could be a “disaster” or a long-lasting “opportunity” for the planet.

Rifai in his valedictory speech at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, penultimate week, said that new data showed people made more than 1.1 billion international trips in the first 10 months of 2017 – a 7 per cent increase on the same period in 2016.

However, Rifai further added that ‘it’s all up to us to ensure the trend translates into positive change in line with the UN-led Sustainable Development Goals agenda.’

Rifai, many believe, changed the UNWTO and what it is during his term, while others posit the Jordanian raised the bar of the UN agency very high and has built a legacy for himself like none of his predecessors had.

In his final speech, he addressed not his legacy, but the legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

“I have been touched by every person I have met throughout my humbling, rewarding yet challenging journey and deeply moved by many of the tourism stories I have come across around the world.

“I want to thank all those who make our work meaningful every day. I also wish to thank all our Member States, Affiliate Members, sister UN Organizations, industry leaders and their teams, associations and global bodies for their support to me and to the mandate of UNWTO throughout these years. It has been a truly humbling experience.

“I wish to say a very special thanks to the UNWTO staff that made possible every success that the Organization has enjoyed over the past years. I am extremely grateful to everyone I have worked with. It has been a privilege to serve as Secretary-General, not the least because of the diverse breadth of exceptional colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with.

“I wish Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the incoming Secretary-General, every success in continuing to drive our sector forward to a better future,” Rifai said.

Meanwhile, in his New Year Message, new Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, assured of his commitment to continue in the legacy of Rifai as he pledged to ‘building partnerships with public and private sector, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change.’

“It is with a sense of pride and humility that I assume my post as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the period 2018-2021. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my strong commitment to make of UNWTO an ever more relevant Organization for the benefit of the sector, our Member States and its people.

“As we move towards a future guided by the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I take upon me to lead UNWTO with a strong focus on building partnerships with public and private sector, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change,” he said.

MMIAVICTOR NZE

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in conjunction with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has lowered minimum visibility for takeoff and landing of flights for 18 airports which have improved navigational aids, including Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and other equipment that enhance visibility during inclement weather.

This new minimum visibility will take effect from Thursday.

Before now, the average minimum visibility was 800 metres below which flights were not allowed to operate to the airports, but now flights can operate when visibility is about 150 meters, depending on the available navigational aids.

The implication of this is that flights that were hitherto stopped from operating to airports when the visibility were below 800 metres can now operate; so even at the height of harmattan haze last December, airlines would have operated with the minimum visibility.

In the statement signed by NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, the regulatory authority said it carried out a review of Aerodrome Operating Weather Minima for 18 airports in Nigeria in recognition of improvements in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports.

NCAA said the review was in compliance with the provision of Part 8 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs Part 8), and in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Doc.9365.

“In this review, the Regulatory Authority took cognisance of improvements in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports. The reviewed Aerodrome Operating Minima would serve to enhance the operating capacity of the aerodromes. This is due to the fact that it will avail the operators with improved minima for low visibility operations,” the regulatory authority said.

According to the review, the landing minima specified for all the 18 airports were determined based on applicable criteria as defined in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations and these includes all relevant amendments, as well as available navigational facilities, including Instrument Landing System, Voice Omni directional Radio Range and Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS,VOR/DME, etc) or PBN Navigational Specification (RNAV/GNSS).

“On the other hand, the reviewed operating minima provided for a performance based takeoff minima for the affected aerodromes in Nigeria is determined by available visual aids for takeoff. These are Runway Centre Lights, Touchdown Zone lights, Runway Edge Lights, Threshold Lights, Runway End Lights and Runway Surface Markings.

The 18 aerodromes where the operating minima and takeoff minima have been reviewed are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Dutse, Eket and Enugu. Others are Gombe, Ilorin, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola and Zaria,” the statement said.

NCAA said the last time weather minima were actually reviewed was in 1983, but a semblance of revision undertaken in 1993 only stated that the takeoff minima shall be equal or greater than landing minima at all airports.

“This is to allow for an air return to the same airport should there arise an emergency,” NCAA said.

“However, this present review allows for takeoff as low as 150 metres Runway Visual Range (RVR). While some airports in the country with Category Two Instrument Landing Systems (ILS Cat II) can permit landing with 300 metres Runway Visual Range (RVR).

“Before this review, the lowest visibility with Category Two ILS in the nation’s airports was 800 metres/550 RVR (Runway Visual Range). Based on the review, the following airports now have ILS Cat II approach and landing minima, Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Ilorin, Gombe, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola, Dutse, Calabar and Enugu,” the regulatory body said.

NCAA said the implementation of these revised aerodrome operating minima (both takeoff and landing) shall be based on compliance with applicable Standard Operating Procedures for Low Visibility Operations at the affected airports, adding that this is executed by Flight Crew, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), Aerodrome Operators and the Meteorological Agency.

“To ensure the seamless operation of these revised minima, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) shall continue to ensure prompt and regular provision of required meteorological information. These will include flight visibility and Runway Visual Range (RVR) values to all ATC units in the airports. Thus NiMET and NAMA shall ensure constant updating of the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) with the available RVR values as appropriate.

All airlines, Aerodrome Operators and Air Navigation Service Providers are required to ensure adequate training of their personnel and flight crew that would be involved in low visibility operations. The Air Navigation service provider is expected to ensure regular flight calibration of all available navigational aids. This is to ensure safe and efficient flight operations, especially during low visibility operations,” the statement also said.

The agency added that with this review it has provided a pragmatic solution to the incessant flight delays and cancellations occasioned by inclement weather, noting that it is expected that passengers can now heave a sigh of relief as their travel plans would now be in real time.

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has proffered reasons causing the protracted delay in completion of the new terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja, explaining further that additional funding was now required to see the project through.

The NAIA new terminal project is part of the US$500 million dollars loan from Chinese EXIM Bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government.

Sirika, while inspecting the project, Tuesday, told newsmen that one of the causes of the delay was a foundational issue which had altered the master plan of the airport, as he explained that the planning of the project did not envisage that the building would lead to additional works, power and water supply.

Sirika added that it was also discovered that the building would block both the control and fire towers which would require relocation.

He said that additional work was also required to link it with the existing terminal as well as expanding the apron to accommodate bigger air planes.

Another reason according to Sirika, is the insufficient capacity of the existing power and water supply in the airport to cater for the new building.

He said that all the challenges would result to requiring additional funding. According to him, the project is being funded through 500 million dollars loan from Chinese EXIM bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government.

The quality of work is acceptable but the pace of work is not acceptable because this project should have been delivered by now.

“The contractor has told us some of the challenges he has been facing regarding some of the components of work and some additional works required for this project to be put into use. Unfortunately, some of these components are complex which would delay this job and some of them are from the foundation like that of the sewer and water.

“There is also the problem of the control tower blocking the access into the terminal apron and also the inadequate nature of the apron itself. All of these are not small works to be done but the intent of the government is to fast track the construction to ensure that it is being utilised soon.

“I am very disappointed that all these problems could not be factored in during the planning stage of the procurement. It is a 600 million-dollar project based on the initial arrangement but because we now have additional works to be carried out to be able to complete it, there is need for additional funding,” he said.

Sirika said that the Abuja light rail that was almost completed would terminate at the airport which would not be utilised if the terminal building was not completed.

He said that government could not give any specific date for its completion, considering the amount of funds required to correct all the anomalies since it was a loan project.

According to him, government is committed to the project to ensure its completion as soon as possible and the contractor has given his word that if the power issue is resolved, part of work would be completed before March.

Managing Director, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), Mr Jack Li, said the work was about 88 per cent completed, noting that the cause of the delay was occasioned by external factors not included in the contract, as he also added that it was the responsibility of the government to make provision for the power and water supply.

He, however, promised that the project would be delivered within the year if the issues concerning power and water were resolved.

Zero deaths were reported for passenger jet travel in 2017, making it the safest year on record for commercial aviation, according to the Dutch aviation group To70 and the Aviation Safety Network (ASN).

Reports released from the two groups, Monday, said that there were no deaths aboard commercial passenger jet airplanes in 2017.

“2017 was the safest year for aviation ever,” said To70’s Adrian Young.

For cargo airplanes and commercial passenger propeller airplanes, there were 10 fatal incidents in 2017 resulting in 44 deaths on board aircraft and 35 deaths on the ground.

The deadliest aircraft-related incident of 2017 occurred in January, when a Turkish cargo plane crash landed in Kyrgyzstan, killing four crew members and 35 people on the ground.

Young also cautioned that the risks involved in aviation remain high, as evidenced by the Turkish crash and other more minor fatal incidents last year.

“The risks to civil aviation remain high as shown by the seriousness of some of the non-fatal accidents,” Young said, adding: “It is unlikely that this historic low will be maintained; in part, these very positive figures rest on good fortune. Nevertheless, the safety level that civil aviation has achieved is remarkable.”

Fatal incidents involving passenger jets have been falling steadily for decades. Reuters notes that as recently as 2005, 1,015 deaths occurred on commercial passenger flights around the world.

The last fatal commercial jet crash in the U.S. occurred in 2009, when a passenger jet crashed in Clarence Center, New York, killing 50 people. The last fatal commercial jet crash worldwide occurred in Medellin, Colombia, in November 2016 and killed 71 people.

AeroIndigenous carrier, Aero Contractors has become the first airline to successfully conduct a C-Check of an aircraft in West Africa following completion of the test on its own aircraft at the airline’s hangar in Lagos.

The airline, Thursday, also finalized a test flight on the 737aircraft which was completed by Captain Gabriel Ayeni with co-pilot Wale Awojebe and C-Check Manager, Engineer Claude and the crew.

”This is the first C-Check ever done in the region on the Boeing 737 Classics, this is very good news and is good for the aviation industry in Nigeria. It shows we have the capacity to conduct the C-Check. We are not going to rest on our oars, we are going to improve on this so we can carry out C-Checks on the Next Generations (NG). We will go further to create capacity to carry out checks on Airbus, this is a stepping stone for the organisation,” said Managing Director of Aero, Captain Ado Sanusi.

It would be recalled that in December, Captain Sanusi had stated that the airline would complete the C-Check on its aircraft and deploy same aircraft for operations.Aero Contractors was granted approval by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out C-Checks on Boeing 737series along with its maintenance of the Bombardier Turboprop airliner series.

The airline received certification to handle C-checks on Boeing classic series B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500 at the airline’s terminal effective from September 12, 2017 thereby domesticating maintenance that is the major bane to almost all domestic airlines in the country.

This is a major feat for Aero, and the first by a flag carrier in Nigeria. It would be recalled that Aero had earlier received an AMO certification from the NCAA in 2011 which allowed the airline to carry out third-party maintenance for other airlines.

The B737-300, 400 and 500 series are popular among domestic carriers in Nigeria, excluding Dana which operates the MD series.

Arik AirBy VICTOR NZE

The country’s aviation sector beyond the ever recurring labour crises, flight delays, shortcomings in infrastructure, and government’s ill-advised decisions, appeared to have taken a back seat in the year 2017 as appreciable improvements were recorded both by the government and the airline operators.

The face-off between labour unions and the federal government over the concession agreement for the four viable airports in the country, namely; the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, the Port Harcourt International Airport Omagba, and the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, continued into the year as protests dominated discourse all through the year pitching the various labour bodies in the country with the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

The controversial concession plans has dogged the tenure of Hadi Sirika since his appointment two years as Minister of State for Aviation, when the arrangement was first announced to stakeholders, as well as the plethora of meetings which followed aimed at wooing the various parties.

Originally listed for concessions were the country’s high revenue yielding airports in Port Harcourt, Kano, Lagos and Abuja, which committees including; a Project Steering Committee, and a Project Delivery Committee, have already been inaugurated with a directive to commence implementation of the process.

However, despite the outcome of previous meetings and negotiations yet unresolved, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2017 moved ahead to announce that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the concession of both the MMIA and NAIA airports to ‘improve their efficiency and service delivery.’

“We are working hard to make the airports more passenger friendly, but then we have several issues. Infrastructure is in a terrible state and we know that public sector has a poor record on maintenance of facilities.

“Partnership with the private sector is not only a policy, it is the most sensible thing to do and our approach is to engage, work collaboratively to take criticisms and suggestions seriously and to respond,” Osinbajo said.

Commenting, Comrade Ahmed Danjuma, Chairman Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said concession was not the way out of the present challenges facing the agency.

Ahmed said misplacement of priority and politicians’ intervention in the running of the system by flooding the agencies especially FAAN with workers employed without consulting the management of the organisations.

The union leader explained that most of the airports were built for political reasons without considering the economic benefits to the nation adding that most of these airports depended largely on the viable airports to survive.

According to Ahmed, airports in other countries survive because they are maintained with the revenue generated by the same airport saying that reverse remained the case in Nigeria.

“Airports across the globe survive because they sustain the airport with generated revenue by those  airports but in Nigeria, we use the generated revenue from international Airport Lagos, to maintain others.”

Also, Secretary General Association of the Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu, pointed out that the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the igerian Meteorological  Agency (Nimet) resolved at their Zonal Council meeting Tuesday,  to oppose any form of concession in view of past and present corrupt tendencies being applied to favour few individuals

“We say no to it and shall fight it with the last blood of our Union, we wrote to PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) of the danger to security of Nigeria. We asked questions unanswered which must be given full details,” Saidu said.

Stressing that almost all the revenue points at the airports have been concessioned, Saidu raised the alarm that that nothing was left.

However, Chairman of Air Peace , Mr Allen Onyema, backed the Federal Government move, saying that the decision was a step in the right direction on the grounds that the ‘Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 that is being run privately, is the best airport in Nigeria.’

“Government has no business in doing business and that is the truth: If the Federal Government now decides to concession the airports, that is the right thing to do. Look at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 that is being run privately, it is the best airport in Nigeria,” Onyema said.

Onyema noted that the only fear was that some of the workers might lose their jobs due to the fact that the investors would streamline operations to cut cost.

For, Chairman of Century Security, Group Capt John Ojukutu (rtd), however, there was no clear terms as to what the government want to concession, even as he called on the government to declare the areas it wants to concession, warning that the airside was a no-go area for them to concession.

The former Airport Commandant urged the government to invite the corporate sector players in the country to take over the management of the airport terminal buildings, even as he urged that anyone taking over the Lagos Airport and Abuja airports must also take responsibility of smaller airports under these two airports.

He queried the rationale behind the concession of only two airports out of the over 22 airports across the country, calling for the concession of all the airports in the country, noting that Federal Government was not concentrating on the real issues in the aviation sector.

However, the bright side remains the announcement by the Nigerian Civil aviation Authority (NCAA), through its spokesperson, Mr Sam Adurogboye, in January that Nigeria had climbed to Level 3 State Safety Programme (SSP) Implementation Process, joining countries like the U.S. and the United Kingdom in this echelon.

This in addition to the certification of the MMIA in Lagos and NAIA in Abuja by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), as well as the runway rehabilitation of the NAIA, and the commencement of the runway project of the long-maligned Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu which commenced in December by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Perhaps, one of the biggest fallouts of the airport runway rehabilitation was the diversion of flights to the under-utilized Kaduna airport that has now seen the facility continue to attract the patronage of airline including the Ethiopian Airlines, which assured its commitment to remain on the route.

In addition, the United States-based carrier, Delta Air Lines, announced its readiness to open a new Lagos-New York route to complement the existing Lagos-Atlanta route, which it said was in fulfillment of its target to expand the Nigeria-United States market.

However, issues revolving around airport security and baggage handling blighted the year’s achievement for the industry in the face of luggage thefts that rented the media space in December following latest complaints by top music acts in the country who raised the alarm over loss of their personal effects to which the FAAN unprofessionally labeled as ‘baseless.’

While the FAAN may have come under heavy stick for its shocking reaction to the incident, complaints over lost luggage at the nation’s airports have become a recurring one which the recent directive by Vice President Osinbajo’s on Ease on Doing Business at the airports should expectedly have addressed in the year.

For some indigenous carriers, 2017 was a positive one as though the recurring complaints of over-taxation remained, they also found time to celebrate industry achievements. Dana received its long-expected Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification of the International Air Transport Association (IATA); as well as new entrants, Air Peace, all in 2017.

This is also as another indigenous carrier, Med-View, commenced international flight operations to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with plans to head to Europe. Air Peace also expanded operations across the West African sub-region with commencement of the Freetown-Banjul-Dakar flights.