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Zimbabwe's Aviation body is'world's worst': South African press

by Byo24NEWS
30 Jan 2011 at 23:51hrs | Views
Zimbabwe's crisis-ridden Civil Aviation Authority (CAAZ) is once again in the spotlight after its customers dismissed the organisation as a farce and called on management to resign.

So bad is the situation that CAAZ's customer satisfaction index is at an all-time low of 29% against the worldwide generally accepted index of 68%. This makes CAAZ one of the worst civil aviation authorities in the world.

The revelations are contained in a customer satisfaction measurement report which was seen by the some media houses in which customers such as airlines, pilots and service providers lambasted CAAZ for incompetence.

Zimbabwe's civil aviation industry is facing serious problems and management recently admitted its surveillance and communication systems were obsolete, making the country's airspace among the most dangerous in the world.

In the report, commissioned by CAAZ, the customers placed the blame on management.

"Senior management tend to be too authoritative, like a father-son relationship, the CEO (David Chawota) is inaccessible and arrogant, and he lacks the strategic vision to see the parastatal through.

"CAAZ deliberately delays assessment and processing of documents and ignores stakeholder complaints. The previous CEO had a vision and people at heart. Most pilots interviewed said there should be no politics at CAAZ as this had led to the appalling conditions which have forced most of them to leave for other countries," reads part of the report.

The report also makes revelations that simple appliances at the airports are not working, including conveyor belts which have been broken for more than a year. Airlines complained that runway lights did not work half the time and during wet weather CAAZ did not take measures to prevent disasters.

Passengers also complained that the check-in systems were usually out of order, resulting in delays. They also lambasted CAAZ for failing to maintain information screens which gave them details on flight departures and arrivals.

Pilots and airlines said there was a lack of security at airports because some cars moved around without reflective lights or beacons when on the tarmac.

Airline operators also complained that projects started nearly 10 years ago had not been completed - such as Zimbabwe's second airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo.

CAAZ spokesman Annajulia Hungwe could not immediately comment on the report on Friday.

In the past, CAAZ boss Chawota has claimed there is little support coming from the government, hence the persistent problems at the organisation. There have been reports of a lack of communication between CAAZ and the Ministry of Transport, under which the organisation falls.

In the report, dated August 2010, customers had some words of advice on how to run the organisation.

"There is a need for CAAZ to re-examine the existing expertise and perhaps replace some of it, especially in the areas of customer courtesy.

"This could clear up a lot of loopholes, especially in a country that is starved of any airline traffic.

"There is need for CAAZ to rely on external advice, for example recommendations from the business community, in order for it to achieve meaningful results in its policies," reads part of the report

Source - Byo24NEWS