Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority advised to restructure itself

Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) needs to be restructured like Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) for the Authority to provide dynamic international standard regulatory services, a retired Communications Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) technician suggested.

Restructuring the Authority like that of the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise (which is recently become part of Ethiopian Airlines Group), can enable it to cope up with the dynamic of the swiftly changing technological advancement of the aviation industry, according to the technician who anonymously spoke to

“The authority should be restructured as an entity that is run by board of directors like the Ethiopian Airlines group; which can help it enjoy to execute swift decision to mobilize its own finance with simple consultation with the Board of Directors,” he underscored; adding that “the Authority, which is obliged to arrange numerous short and long term training abroad, so as to cope up with the dynamism of the ever changing aviation industry should have easy access to finance its own budget and should not be hampered by the bureaucratic system of the Federal Civil Service Structure ; which is currently governed by.”

As an organization which generates millions of dollars every year from the various services it provide to its clients coupled with its nature, the Federal Civil Service governance is too awkward to fit with the dynamic nature of the aviation industry, according to the retired technician.
Being a member of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), Ethiopian civil aviation authority’s aerodrome safety standards and undertakings are being monitored by ICAO (whose headquarter is in Montreal Canada) on daily basis which always want to make sure the safety level of the global aviation industry.

In other words, ECAA is monitored by ICAO and operating in accordance with the global standards; yet being hampered by the country’s civil service legislation. ICAO usually sends new annexes to all aviation organizations around the globe including ECAA; whenever new changes of technology in the aviation industry take place.

This in turn calls for continuous training of experts abroad to update them with the contemporary and dynamic environment of the industry. In nations like Kenya and Egypt, Civil Aviation organizations are autonomous which run by their own income through an established board of directors; not mentioning these two nations do have their own Aviation Universities; which provide continuous multifaceted capacity building training to the country’s aviation professionals and for new students.

In Ethiopia, however, the devotion given from the government to ECAA is little more than invisible mainly due to lack of awareness about the nature of the services provided by the authority and the urge needed to maintain global aviation standards all the time. Any failure to meet the standard could mean that Ethiopia is not a safe place to fly to; and global airlines will fine tune their destinations to other countries that are confirmed to be safe by the ICAO.

As a result of these, the authority, which is the regulatory body of the country’s airspace, is not powerful enough to execute its regulation duties properly. Contrary to its role and establishment, this means that the regulatory body (ECAA) is controlled by the operator; which is also highly backed by the state itself.

It is known that the Ethiopian Airlines group has its own aviation academy, which is different from the training center of ECAA that is providing capacity building training for Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) professionals of east African countries. ECAA was established some 70 years ago; during the reign of the Imperial Era.