LUSAKA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Wednesday launched a strategy to guide the sustainable growth of the country's aviation sector.
Minister of Transport and Logistics Frank Tayali said the strategy will help tackle the many challenges that have affected the growth of the aviation sector and make it contribute significantly to Zambia's economic growth.
"The aviation strategy clearly outlines areas of intervention that will facilitate the sector to make a significant contribution to economic growth," he said during the launch.
The strategy was premised on the vision of having an aviation sector capable of contributing to social and economic development through sustainable, reliable, safe and secure air connectivity, Tayali said.
According to him, key among the issues to be addressed in the strategy, which runs through 2026, is the continuous maintenance of high aviation safety and security alongside growing air traffic as well as an effective and efficient regulatory framework that will give the industry more flexibility to thrive and remain competitive globally.
In 2009, the European Union banned all Zambian-registered airlines from flying into Europe, citing safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The minister expressed optimism that the strategy will provide an excellent avenue for the country's aviation sector to rise above its challenges and realize the dream of becoming an aviation hub in the southern African region.
Zambia's geographical location is a natural hub and a connecting point for global business for countries in the sub-region, Tayali said, stressing that the aviation sector has been hampered by challenges such as low levels of passenger numbers, inadequate air connectivity to provincial centers, high airline operating costs and limited capacity in air services training.