In a statement, the ministry says that the certificate was delivered by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), representing "a milestone for the civil aviation subsector in Angola, since the State now complies with the obligation established by ICAO (since 27 November 2003) of having all the international airports in operation disclosed in the Africa-Indian Ocean Air Navigation Plan (AFI) certified by ANAC".
This was a process that had been pending since June 2015, when the certification of the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport was initiated by the then National Civil Aviation Institute (INAVIC), in accordance with the recommendation issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization, in March 2001, and the process was resumed in April 2017, following the shortcomings detected by ICAO.
The note underlines that in this new process, a certification inspection was carried out at the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport in the period from 19 June to 10 July 2018, with the 136 non-conformities detected having been submitted to the management of the National Company for the Exploration of Airports and Air Navigation (Enana) in September.
"Of these 136 non-conformities, the degradation of the infrastructure stands out, especially the pavements of the runways and the circulation paths, as well as the lights and electrical systems. Also the condition of the Rescue and Fire Fighting Service of the AIL [international airport de Luanda], including equipment problems, insufficient areas of airport operations and maintenance and the absence of an Operational Safety Management System", reads the statement.
The document highlights that Enana – later Sociedade Gestora de Aeroporto (SGA) – started efforts to solve the problems identified, in particular the major rehabilitation work in the movement area of the 4 de Fevereiro airport, which due to the covid pandemic -19 ended up starting only in June 2021.
On September 23, 2022, the SGA requested the restart of the airport certification process, so that ANAC could conduct the entire airport assessment based on the new standards, without disregarding the technical information and evidence of the process started in 2017.
"This new process saw phase 1 and phase 2 approved on the 25th of September and on the 4th of November 2022. Meanwhile, ANAC carried out a complete certification inspection of all areas and detected 35 non-compliances, of which 13 were classified as a conditioning solution for the issuance of the certificate, and 22 as non-conditioning, and the SGA can forward the Corrective Actions Plan with the forecast of the definitive solution, the dates and the mitigating measures to safeguard operational safety", says the note.
Of the 13 non-compliances classified as constraints, indicates the statement, on the 22nd of this month, SGA forwarded evidence of the completion of the 11th and on the 23rd of November requested two short-term requirement exemptions supported by Operational Safety Assessments that demonstrate the possibility of maintaining an adequate level of operational security until its completion.
The Minister of Transport, Ricardo Viegas D'Abreu, quoted in the document, considered the attribution of the certificate "a proof of the commitment and professionalism with which those responsible for the national civil assessment sector are working to place Angola on the best international routes and to earn the reputation it deserves".
"We are, naturally, satisfied, because acts like this demonstrate the tenacity with which we are working and the purpose that we give to our actions. We want to make Angola one of the most recognized African 'hubs' in the area of civil aviation. And this is how it is that we will be able to do it - with focus, with professionalism, with the commitment of all and as a team", he said.