ZAMBIA has for the first time been elected to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council.

Zambia’s permanent representative to the Southern Africa and Development Community and ICAO, Vincent Banda, becomes the first Zambian to be elected to the Council which is the governing body.

Commenting on the election, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director general, Gabriel Lesa, said the development was a huge milestone for Zambia’s aviation industry.

Mr Lesa, who is also president of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), said African states would be well represented to drive international civil aviation matters progressively.

“Africa’s representation on ICAO’s supreme body, the Council means Africa’s interests will be well represented, hence we expect to see improvements in African states’ effective implementation which is a critical benchmark to monitor performance in the civil aviation sector,” he said.

Mr Lesa said as AFCAC’s president, having campaigned and ensured the election of eight African candidates to the ICAO Council in such a stiff competition, Mr Banda’s victory was such a huge milestone and success for the entire continent.

He congratulated Mr. Banda on his successful election.

In response, Mr Banda said his role would not only be to adopt standards and recommended practices as his priority areas, but would also ensure he worked closely with the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority and Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL).

 “My role will not only be to adopt standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, but to deal with infrastructure development, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation,” Mr Vincent said.

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