The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has uplifted two Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) levelled against Botswana after the Southern African nation successfully passed an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) audit early last month.

The SSCs were originally imposed in 2013 after a then ICVM audit identified serious shortcomings in the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana's (CAAB) regulation of Air Operations and Airworthiness.

At the time, the ICAO found that major modifications and major aircraft repairs on Botswana-registered aircraft were being carried out without CAAB approval despite laws requiring its consent. The CAAB subsequently engaged PM Aviation Consultancy to provide technical support and oversight to help Botswana achieve compliance. At ICAO's behest, the authority also suspended the licensing of new aircraft while requiring all existing and start-up airlines as well as MRO centres to undergo recertification according to revised Civil Aviation (Air Operator Certification and Administration) Regulations.

As such, the removal of the SSCs and CAAB's renewed ability to certify new airlines is expected to benefit the local aviation scene most notably start-ups such as BlueSky Airways (BKY, Gaborone) and Air Daytona Tourists Airlines (Gaborone).