(eTN) – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has sharply criticized the Madagascar authorities over their failure to heed a final deadline given to them to improve aviation security at the main international airport in Antananarivo and also other airports across this large Indian Ocean island.
In spite of extending the deadline previously, by July the final deadline for improvement had once more passed without any significant improvements or action by the present regime.
This comes as a surprise to aviation observers, as the island could technically be banned through relevant information given to airlines still operating to Madagascar, a prospect the regime is clearly not too bothered about, considering that they are already under sanctions from the African Union and others over the coup d’état, which brought the former mayor of the capital into power, however, not recognized by his own cronies. The struggle of the island has seriously impacted on tourism, a major foreign exchange earner and employer for Madagascans, and the possibility of free and fair elections continues to be under serious doubt in spite of many personal efforts by former Mozambique President Chissano.
It is not clear how the ICAO will react or how foreign airlines will in the future operate into the island with much of the state-of-the-art security, surveillance, and safety equipment not in place and if the airports of Madagascar may be blacklisted as a result, which would make trade and travel even more difficult than it already is.