Cape Town - South Africa and Zimbabwe have elevated bilateral relations between the two SADC countries by signing of a letter air navigation service provider agreement set to benefit both countries - as well as ensure safe passages of flights between their common borders.
SA's Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) SOC Ltd and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) have reviewed the agreement, based on coordination of aircraft and reviewed an existing Joint Bilateral Agreement on Search and Rescue between SA and Zimbabwe.
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A South African delegation, led by Patrick Modiba, Department of Transport, Sibusiso Nkabinde, ATNS Head of Aeronautical Search and Rescue, Frank Masoga and Koketjo Babili, visited Harare in Zimbabwe - where they were given a tour of the recently renamed Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and its Air Traffic Services Tower facility.
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ATNS says the Joint Bilateral Committee on Search and Rescue between SA and Zimbabwe is to maintain international cooperation between the two countries on Search and Rescue affairs, with a specific focus on regional airspace harmonization and resource sharing.
'Letter of Procedure'
According to ATNS, the letter entails coordination procedures for aircraft flying across a border between the two adjacent countries as well as lays out the routes to be followed by aircraft and the separation that must be implemented between aircraft following or approaching each other at the same level or altitude, among others.
The letter was reviewed and signed and will be effective for another year before the next review.
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ATNS says the bilateral agreement was reviewed and will in due course, be submitted to both the South African Minister of Transport and his Zimbabwean counterpart.
"A resolution was adopted to initiate joint full scale and regular search and rescue exercises," ATNS adds. "To complete this soon-to-be regular process, it is proposed that peer review and gap analysis assessment (monitoring and evaluation) be undertaken."
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