By Bekai Njie
The Gambia is ranked 3rd in the effective implementation of the eight critical elements of aviation safety regulations and oversight in Africa, coming only after South Africa and Egypt, the director general of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has told lawmakers Monday.
Speaking while presenting the institution’s activity report for the year ended 31st December 2013 to the members of the Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly, Abdoulie E. Jammeh also said The Gambia is the first country to undergo a comprehensive approach in aviation through an enhanced assessment process.
He reassured that safety and oversight will always remain the institution’s most important function. “Providing aviation safety regulation and oversight will always remain the Authority’s most important function,” he added. The year under review, Jammeh told members, saw The Gambia’s aviation industry maintaining its high safety record. Navigational aids
On navigational aid facilities, Jammeh indicated that during the period, a new anemometer was installed at runway 32 touchdown zone using wireless technology. This, he said, is part of the automatic meteorology observatory system.
The GCAA boss also used his presentation to highlight the importance of Doppler Very-high frequency Omni-directional Radio (DVOR) range, noting that this piece of equipment is one of the primary navigational aids in The Gambia’s airways system. “It is ground based, radio navigation aid, transmitting omni-directional signals that enable an aircraft to determine its bearing relative to the location of the airport. The Banjul DVOR is used for homing approach and landing. It also provides en-route navigation guidance for aircraft overflying the territory of The Gambia,” he told members.
Dilating on the importance of security in aviation, the GCCA boss informed that the Authority through its Quality Control Unit in collaboration with stakeholders had embarked on the revision of the National Civil Aviation Security (NCAS) with a view to ensuring that it stays abreast in an industry as dynamic as aviation.
“During the period under review, the security programmes of Air Rep Services and Arik Airlines were critically examined to ensure that they continue operations as per their approved airport security programmes,” he indicated.