Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT will prioritise stakeholder engagement in designing permanent signage for the country’s airports as it embarks on the exercise to meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
Last Friday, the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) removed the shield signage at the J.M. Nkomo International Airport and replaced it with the Government Coat of Arms logo.
Members of the public accused the ACZ of disregarding the cultural significance of the shield.
However, in a statement yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said the shield had been placed as a temporary signage when the airport was upgraded and commissioned in 2013.
Minister Mhona said wider consultations will be conducted before a permanent signage for the J M Nkomo International Airport is adopted.
“ACZ has flighted a tender for the design and installation of standard airport signage.
Wider consultations are ongoing on the best signage which will factor in regional sentiments and desires.
The Ministry, however, regrets the hasty removal of the signage at J.M. Nkomo International without notifying all the stakeholders on the impending action and takes the opportunity to assure the nation that going forward concerns of stakeholders will be a priority in the designs of the signage,” said Minister Mhona.
He said since 2015, there has been a concern over poor workmanship of the signage and the rebranding of Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe into ACZ has enabled Government to fix the anomaly.
“The Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe would like to inform that it is committed to proper signage at all our airports in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
In this regard the ACZ continues to carry out its mandate of ensuring proper signage at all airports to ICAO standards,” said Minister Mhona.
“For the record, the signage at JM Nkomo International Airport was done as a temporary measure following the upgrade of the airport and its commissioning in 2013.
The architect, studio arts, came up with a number of designs for the airport signage.
Consultations were done with the Nkomo Family Trust, culture practitioners within the region, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and Cabinet on the matter.”
He said since 2015 there has been a concern over poor workmanship of the signage.
“The split of CAAZ into a regulator and operator gave rise to the formation of a new company, the ACZ which assumed the responsibility for the operations and management of all airports J.M.Nkomo included.
ACZ has since then been seized with the matter of improved signage at all our airports and has gone on to erect new signage with Government of Zimbabwe Court of Arms as temporary measure,” he said.