Iata and the African Airlines Association (Afraa) have joined forces with the African Civil Aviation Commission (Afcac) on a three-year safety project in Africa.
The objective is to provide technical support to the African air operators of the Iata member states who are party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure that they achieve and maintain global aviation safety standards.
Launched on Friday (November 13), 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 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 or Iata Standard Safety Assessment evaluation.
In addition, participating airlines’ personnel will receive quality and safety management systems training. Iata, Afraa and Afcac 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 SAATM and commercial expansion benefits are required to be certified either through Iata’s Operational Safety Audit or Standard Safety Assessment programmes,” explained Tefera Mekonnen Tefera, Secretary-General of Afcac.
“This project will not only bolster safety standards in line with the Abuja Declaration on Safety in Africa. It will also help operationalise 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 Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri.
- IOSA is an internationally recognised evaluation system that assesses airlines’ operational management and control systems from a safety perspective. The auditing process creates a single worldwide standard. It is a requirement for Iata and Afraa membership
- ISSA is a voluntary safety evaluation programme derived from IOSA but tailored for operators of smaller aircraft that are not eligible for IOSA.
- SAATM was launched in January 2018 and is critical to the AU’s integration agenda. To date, 34 of the AU’s 55 member countries have signed the commitment to establish SAATM.