The International Air Transport Association (Iata) and African Airlines Association (Afraa) have teamed up with the African Civil Aviation Commission (Afcac) on a three-year safety project to provide technical support to the African air operators of states party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM).
The objective is to ensure that they achieve and maintain global aviation safety standards.
The initiative is backed by African Development Bank grant funding provided to Afcac and is specifically for carriers in countries that have signed up to the African Union’s (AU) flagship SAATM programme.
The project will identify eligible airlines, conduct gap analyses, and recommend corrective actions for each participating carrier to prepare them for Iata Operational Safety Audits (Iosa) or Iata Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) evaluation.
In addition, participating airlines’ personnel will receive quality and safety management systems training. The three organisations will also host workshops and training sessions at their facilities in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dakar.
“Depending on the size of their organisation and aircraft they operate, airlines wanting to take advantage of the SAATM’s market and commercial expansion benefits are required to be certified either through the Iosa or ISSA programme. Both safety programmes are globally recognised, and part of the African Safety Targets of Abuja Ministerial Declaration hallmarks of aviation safety. We are committed to opening up Africa’s skies through SAATM and supporting the region’s airlines in doing so,” said Afcac secretary-general Tefera Mekonnen.
“This project will not only bolster safety standards in line with the Abuja Declaration on Safety in Africa. It will also help operationalise the SAATM and reinforce the development of sustainable commercial air transport in Africa, which is crucial to the recovery and future growth of economies throughout the continent that have been devastated by the Covid-19 crisis,” said Iata’s regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri.