Air Transport is vital to Africa
Aviation in Africa supports 6.7 million jobs and $67.8 billion in economic activity. IATA recognizes the importance of the sector and has a dedicated team of representatives working to address the many challenges in the region.
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Safety: Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan
The most pressing problem for African aviation is safety. The total number of accidents for African airlines dropped from 18 in 2010 to 8 in 2011. But the average hull-loss rate for western-built jet aircraft was still nine times worse than the global average.
In May 2012, IATA, together with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a host of other organizations committed to an Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan aimed at addressing safety deficiencies and strengthening regulatory oversight in the region by 2015. The Plan was endorsed as part of the “Abuja Declaration” by the Ministerial meeting on Aviation Safety and Security of the African Union.
The last African Union Summit held end of January 2013 in Addis-Ababa endorsed
i) the Aviation Safety Targets and Action Plan for Africa as the continental framework for guiding Africa’s aviation industry to meet the international Standards and Recommended Practices under the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention); and
ii) the Abuja Declaration on Aviation Safety in Africa which reflects the continent’s commitment to the implementation of the African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP) including addressing aviation safety challenges that Africa is facing and continue to ensure seamless operation of aviation in Africa and with the other regions of the world.
Other safety improvements
Runway accidents accounted for about a quarter of the accidents 2006–2010.
In addition to the Runway Excursion Risk Reduction toolkit, Flight Data Analysis has now been made available to all IATA members and deviations from optimum flight trajectories were halved for those airlines in the program.
Strong regulatory oversight is also crucial. Global safety audit programs such as IOSA and ISAGO will help improve safety oversight, a key responsibility for governments. IOSA is a condition for membership in IATA. IOSA carriers in Africa had a zero hull loss rate in 2011.
Appropriately Funded Infrastructure
Aviation connectivity links the continent’s businesses to global markets. And that generates economic opportunities. But, if aviation charges and taxes are too high, its ability to be an economic catalyst is compromised.
The ICAO principles of transparency, consultation with users and cost-relatedness should be applied to any infrastructure development. Unfortunately, these basic principles are not always followed in Africa and some infrastructure development fees are very high. This can only have an adverse effect on the growth of aviation.
Commitment to Africa
Aviation has a critical role to play in Africa and is a cornerstone of its development. Supported by adequate infrastructure, the proper cost structure, and operating within a policy framework that values its contribution, aviation could play a much larger role in the African economy as a whole.
For more information, please contact the Africa regional office.