IATA sets framework for African aviation connectivity

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THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for governments, safety regulators and industry stakeholders to take action to drive aviation connectivity and infrastructure development in Africa for the economic and social development of the continent.
   
According to the director general, Tony Tyler, “Africa is set to be one of the fastest-growing aviation region over the next 20 years, with annual expansion averaging nearly five percent. This opens up incredible economic opportunities for Africa.
“But aviation faces considerable challenges, and for its potential to be realized, correct policies must be developed. Smarter regulation, and a focus on delivering the safety and connectivity commitments of the African Union, will be crucial to establishing Africa as a global aviation powerhouse”.
   
Tyler made this remarks at the IATA Africa and Middle East Aviation Day in Nairobi, Kenya, recently. The event brought together key stakeholders under the theme ‘Connecting Africa’ focusing on the development of frameworks to promote connectivity in regulations, commerce, and operations.
   
Tyler, who identified key challenges needing to be addressed, said, “Safety must always be our first priority. Africa experienced zero jet hull losses in 2014, an excellent result. The all-aircraft accident rate, however, remains considerably higher than the global average. 
   
“The Abuja Declaration commitments by African governments must be followed up with action to increase compliance with ICAO standards.” IATA is moving forward with assistance for airlines that are eligible for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). For airlines ineligible for IOSA, a new IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) has been developed.
   
“African nations have an opportunity to enact smarter regulation to enable better aviation connectivity. Implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision will open up air routes within the continent and provide opportunities for more than 5 million additional passengers a year. 
   
“Those African governments yet to ratify the Montreal Convention 99 and Montreal Protocol 14 treaties, on global standard airline liability and the treatment of unruly passengers respectively, should do so without delay”, he added. 
   
According to him, the provision of appropriate infrastructure, offering the right capacity at the right price, is essential for the growth of sustainable air services across Africa.

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