WINDHOEK – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday commended African governments for their cooperation but has called for closer collaboration, particularly in the fields of safety and environmental sustainability.
Speaking at the African Airlines Association’s (AFRAA’s) Annual General Assembly which is currently underway in Rabat, Morocco, IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, noted that AFRAA and IATA are partners in supporting a safe, secure and sustainable air transport sector that contributes to the continent’s economic growth and development.
“Indeed we recently strengthened our cooperation with an agreement to reinforce the importance of the implementation of global standards by African governments,” said De Juniac.
He noted that there are already two examples where the continent and IATA’s cooperation is at the top of the agenda, namely safety and the adoption of ICAO standards and recommended practices. However, De Juniac is asking African governments to drive additional improvements with two concrete actions.
“First, recognize IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) in safety oversight. Egypt recently renewed its commitment to this. And we have made progress with Rwanda and Zimbabwe as well. We need more governments to follow their good example. With IOSA carriers outperforming those not on the registry by nearly three times, we have a convincing argument,” De Juniac noted.
The second concrete action called on by IATA is the adoption of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) Standards and Recommended practices (SARPs).
“Only 24 African states comply with at least 60 percent of ICAO SARPS. Quite simply, that is not good enough for an industry that depends on global standards for safety. To support greater implementation we are encouraging governments across the continent to allocate resources, ensure the independence of safety oversight bodies and cooperate regionally where pooled resources can improve both speed and efficiency,” said De Juniac.
Another area of cooperation the IATA chief highlighted is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which begins on January 01, 2019. From this date all airlines must begin reporting their emissions.
“In parallel, we are working to increase government participation. Encouragingly, nine governments in this region – Burkina Faso, Botswana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and the latest, Cameroon – are committed to join CORSIA from the voluntary period. And globally, the 75 pioneering CORSIA states cover about 84 percent of aviation activity. That’s good, but we want to push that as close to 100 percent as possible. And our partner for doing that in Africa is AFRAA,” said De Juniac.
He noted that aviation is already a considerable force on the continent, supporting US$55.8 billion of economic activity and 6.2 million jobs.
“That’s impressive. But we are only scratching the surface of what aviation can contribute to building Africa’s future. To enable aviation to be an even bigger driver of prosperity across the continent, we must work with governments: to improve competitiveness, to develop effective infrastructure, to modernise the regulatory framework with a focus on global standards, and to ensure a well-trained and diverse workforce,” De Juniac continued.
He said aviation is the business of freedom and that opportunities aviation creates to improve people’s lives are tremendous, especially in Africa. “It is no wonder that aviation is an enabler for so many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is important that the industry is able to drive growth and connectivity in Africa by working in lock-step with government,” said De Juniac.
2018-11-27 10:34:11 7 months ago