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Insight into 2016 Policy Priorities and Challenges

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As one year gives way to another, we see this first issue of the AME Gazette in 2016 as the perfect occasion to look ahead together on how we can build on the results of 2015 and tackle both current and emerging challenges. Last year was particularly meaningful as it ma​rked the 70th year of industry cooperation through IATA to create and deliver value to the world through aviation. ​
We do not expect 2016 to be less promising nor less challenging than any other year; but what we are sure of is that we will continue to build on the strong partnership formed with you all, our industry stakeholders,  to make significant progress against our priorities and maximize the opportunities to reap the benefits for our industry. 

In the Africa and Middle East region, we currently stand at 54 member airlines working  together with a broad spectrum of industry partners and stakeholders to achieve our objectives. Through our primary role to advocate for a healthy and positive regulatory environment, we remain focused on key industry issues recommended by our members and various stakeholders during our different regional Aviation/IATA Days and Aero political forums. These form the foundation of our advocacy activities in the region in 2016 - to reduce regulatory burdens, facilitate operational efficiency and enable the industry grow safely, securely, profitably and sustainably.

Safety & Security

Improving Safety remains our number one priority. There has been significant progress over the years though the overall safety record remains an issue that needs to be addressed. There is a pressing requirement to improve the overall performance particularly in Africa. This can happen through the implementation of the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan which aims at addressing safety deficiencies and strengthening regula​tory oversight capability. A key focus is the implementation of the 2012 Abuja Declaration on Aviation Safety in Africa by individual States. This includes  IOSA and E-IOSA certification  for airlines and the new IATA Safety standard Assessment (ISSA) for aircraft below 5.7 tons. Another key focus area remains improving security in the AME region through different IATA programs and global standards and ultimately through cooperation and partnership. 
 

Smarter Regulations

We will continue our efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on the airline industry through advocating for a smarter regulation approach to be incorporated into policy documents. Work is underway in many areas to achieve different results including Consumer Protection Regulations that are aligned with ICAO and Industry principles, reduction of Taxes and Charges in countries with high and unfavorable environment for aviation.

Infrastructure

Assertive measures will be taken to tackle the rising concern of lack of capacity, congestion and efficiency in the airspace especially in the Middle East and to increase the overall efficiency of the ATM system through improved airspace design, organization and greater civil/military coordination. Similarly important, we will be focusing our advocacy on  ground infrastructure in Africa through more protection for foreign investors, support for ground handling diversification and partnerships with the private sector and non-governmental organizations.  
 

Connectivity and Mobility

Following the broad launch of the Value of Aviation campaign on intra-African connectivity, this year will be the time to focus on the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) across three fronts -advocacy with non-aviation stakeholders, policy formulation and capacity building. In parallel efforts, we will work with our partners to remedy the restrictive regulatory framework through Regional connectivity in MENA with a long-term vision to increase interregional mobility. 

Environment

Support for the implementation of a Global Market Based Measure for aviation via stakeholder awareness programmes and creating the right market conditions for the rise of biofuels will be our core areas of focus this year, taking into account the critical role which countries throughout region play in this area. 
 

Skills Development

We will be introducing aviation specific training and workshops for Parliamentarians and other government officials. Secondly, through our regional outreach programs and events, we will be promoting diversity and inclusion in the work force, which is an issue that needs to be addressed with urgency to support the growth prospects of the region. Thirdly, we will make available more accessible locations for IATA training. Finally, we will continue to help develop human capacity and provide technical assistance in the region. 

These are but a few of our activities and the collaborative efforts with regional associations to ensure that every day marks a positive development for the whole industry. 

Our valued reader, with this message we renew our commitment to put all efforts to work on the strategic Aeropolitical priorities that you agreed on in Brazzaville, Congo on 10th of November 2015 during the AFCAC/AFRAA/ICAO Africa Aeropolitical Forum and our latest IATA/AACO MENA Aeropolitcal Forum held in Cairo on 13th April 2016. These were perfect forums where you participated in discussing, identifying and assessing all priorities. Meanwhile, we encourage you write to us, your “Members & External Relations AME team” at AMEMER@iata.org if you think of any other issue as a high priority or for any other issue you may require.
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