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IATA, AFRAA and AFCAC enter agreement to support African airlines

By Joe Ombuor | December 6th 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have entered a three-year safety project agreement with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to provide technical support to the African Air operators of states party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure global aviation safety standards.

AFCAC Secretary-General Tefera Makonnen Tefera told a meeting in Nairobi that the initiative funded by African Development Bank (ADB) will 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.

He said participating airlines’ personnel will receive quality and safety management systems training.   “IATA, AFRAA, and AFCAC will also host workshops and training sessions held at their facilities in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dakar,” he said.

“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 IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) or Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) programs,” stated Tefera.  

IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East Mohamed Ali Albakri said the project would bolster safety standards in line with the Abuja Declaration on Safety in Africa and help operationalise the SAATM while reinforcing the development of sustainable commercial air transport on the continent crucial to the recovery and future growth of economies devastated by the Covid-19 crisis.

AFRAA Secretary General Abdelrahman Berthe said the ultimate goal of the project was to improve safety levels for the airline sector in Africa through the attainment of IATA Operational Safety Association (IOSA), an internationally recognised evaluation system that assesses airlines operational management and control systems from a safety perspective.

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