(Dakar, Senegal) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and African air traffic management organisation ASECNA announced an agreement to combine efforts to improve safety, service levels, efficiency, cost effectiveness and infrastructure on the continent.

“IATA and ASECNA have a shared vision to unlock the potential of African aviation,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. “Africa has the world’s worst safety record and its airlines are the least profitable with US$300 million in losses forecast for this year. This must change. Improved safety and efficiency are a must to preserve and increase aviation’s contribution of US$9 billion in GDP and 430,000 jobs in Africa.”

The agreement covers several key areas.

Service Levels and Charges
The agreement acknowledges the need for service level and charges targets that reflect the economies of scale generated by ASECNA’s operations and transparent consultations. IATA can also bring added efficiency and lower costs with its $314 billion finance and settlement systems.

Efforts will focus on the provision of affordable training. That includes Safety Management System training to help airlines, airport operators, Civil Aviation Authority personnel and air navigation service providers meet ICAO requirements from 1 January 2009 as well as English language proficiency training for Air Traffic Controllers.

IATA and ASECNA will jointly press for aeronautical infrastructure policies that meet airspace user requirements. That includes supporting the development of AFI Air Navigation Plan and the rationalisation of the route structure and extension of Air Traffic Control. ASECNA will also explore opportunities to set up a Special Infrastructure fund to set aside funds for necessary infrastructure developments and modernisation.

Surveillance Plans
IATA will assist and support ASECNA to educate governments on civil aviation requirements and promote technologies, such as Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Contact (ADS-C) and Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B). These are in line with a network design that fits the global network for civil aviation and should be deployed.

“ASECNA has done in Africa what Europe has failed to do. ASECNA has provided effective air traffic management for a united sky covering a significant part of the African continent for nearly half a century. The efficiency of this approached matched with IATA’s expertise can make a powerful difference,” said Bisignani. “This multi-state approach to efficient air traffic management is a beacon for other regions to follow. African Governments must remain committed to continuously enhancing this success story of African aviation."

Notes for editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 94% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • L’Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar - ASECNA manages 16.1 million square kilometres of airspace (1.5 times the size of Europe) covering 6 Flight Information Regions (FIRs) – Antananarivo, Brazzaville, Dakar Oceanic and Terrestrial, Niamey and N’djamena.