The National Civil Aviation Security Committee (NCASC) have conducted inspection visits to Sumbawanga Airport, Mpanda and Sitalike airstrip in Rukwa and Katavi Regions respectively to check their compliance to Civil Aviation (Security) Regulations. The visit come ahead of the 42nd committee meeting held at Mpanda Katavi.

The Committee Chairman, who is also the Director General of Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, Hamza S. Johari, underscored the importance of overseeing the aviation security to all airports including the regional ones, recalling the incident of 1982 where five brothers led by Yassin Memba took advantage of security gap of Mwanza airport and hijacked the boeing 737 Air Tanzania aircraft which was bound to Dar es salaam and divert the aircraft to London, UK.

Officiating the meeting, the Katavi Regional Commissioner, Juma Zuberi Homera, expressed his enthusiasm on government improvement to civil aviation in the region citing the air Tanzania three flight operations per week, installation of Area Navigation Procedure (RNAV) for Mpanda Airport which he said is a strategic airport as it is bordering number of neighboring countries

Ealier at Sitalike airstrip after the visit, the committee directed Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) the owner of the airstrips to ensure that security inspections and screening is carried out to every arriving and departing passenger.

Any laxity of security screening will compromise security and create potential environment of smuggling of illegal items such as drugs and nation trophies, warned the Chief protocol Officer, Ambassador Col. Wilbert Ibuge who is the NCASC member and the Chief Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

He added that, TANAPA airstrips mostly serve tourists, who eventually depart the country through international airports, thus any laxity of security oversight is likely to have a repercussion to international aviation security.

The Head of Katavi National park, Conversation Commissioner Msumi assured the committee that, TANAPA is striving to comply with aviation security measures whereby among others, number of its staff have been trained on aviation security screening.

NCASC is part of the implementation of National Civil Aviation Security programme. The programme is responsible for defining processes for the reporting of information concerning incidents of acts of unlawful interference and preparatory acts, by any entity responsible for implementation of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme in a practical and timely manner to the relevant authorities, as appropriate.

Source: Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority