As a Zambian, to fly anywhere around your own country in your own Zambian registered aircraft, you must apply to the Air Force for an overflight clearance permit every two weeks and there are now a limited number of strips to land at.
Zambian aviation faced the same Part 139 nonsense from the ZCAA and was unable to fight it off resulting in the closure of many airfields, the discontinuation of many pilot licences and the exit from aviation of many businesses, pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
A Dire Letter of Warning from a Zambian Aviator to the AOPA Namibia President:
I trust you are making headway regarding the Namibian airfield issue.
Your comments on the Zambia aviation experience are quite correct.
Not only has it resulted in the closure of many airfields, but a reduction in the construction of new ones, affecting both private and business aviation — most notably tourism.
The reluctance of having to go through the ZCAA bureaucratic hurdles, paperwork, costly inspections, Environmental Impact Assessments and approval process [of licencing new or existing airfields] — coupled with the cost of maintaining the airstrips to unnecessary regulated standards whilst arranging and paying for annual inspections and preparing the attendant paperwork — have deterred most citizens and businesses from even attempting to go the aviation route.
This has had a massive negative effect on both tourism and business, making Zambia an expensive tourist destination and unattractive place to do business.
Our exorbitant Landing and Parking fees, as well as slow service and security delays at the Government operated airstrips has only worsened the situation for Zambia.
And once these impediments to business are in place, they are difficult — if not impossible — to reverse.
Further, the wider economic impact to business, job creation, taxation and more are not realised for the country, with exception for only the few who would like to see these regulations in place for their own purposes — that of creating cronyism and jobs for friends, family and securing their own.
We are now unlikely to ever create a sustainable and growing private and business aviation sector, as our small size would never economically allow flight schools, quality Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMOs) or any supporting businesses to successfully establish or grow.
Continue to do all you can to never allow this to happen in Namibia.
All the best,