Known as the “Declaration on Air Traffic Management (ATM) Safety in Africa”, the agreement enjoins the companies to conduct periodic peer review on each other’s safety management systems as part of efforts to improve air transport in the region.
They are mainly the civil aviation institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique who are also members of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).
This was announced in Accra yesterday, at this year’s CANSO Africa Conference held on the theme, ‘Ensuring safe and effective airspace-separating regulations and service provision’.
The three-day conference has assembled officials of African countries which are members of CANSO, as well as some global experts of air transport systems, to discuss measures to improve safety of the airspace in Africa.
The Minister of Transport, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, in his keynote address, stressed the need for increased collaboration among Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs).
According to him, the airline industry had over the years demonstrated that strategic partnerships through alliances and code-sharing arrangements could create synergies and bring about efficiency for sustainable development of air transport.
That, Mr. Kwetey, said should inspire ANPS to adopt the approach of airline industry to foster strategic alliances, value creation and cooperation among themselves.
He urged CANSO and its members to help enhance the operational efficiency of other weaker members to achieve such vision thereby making Africa more competitive globally, emphasizing that “the global vision of seamless Air Traffic Management has no place for any weak link. No country can be left behind, Africa cannot be left behind”.
Mr. Kwetey, however, commended CANSO for the Africa ATM safety peer review initiative designed to institutionalise a peer review mechanism by encouraging member organisations to form teams to conduct peer reviews among themselves.
On matters related to civil aviation in Ghana, he said the aviation sub-sector of the country has in recent times undergone tremendous growth both internationally and domestically.
According to Mr. Kwetey, the growth was a reflection of the stable political, social and economic atmosphere and prudent policies of the government.
He said, for instance, the country has achieved a full implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) at three of its airports which include Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and Standard Arrival Routes (STARs) implementations.
“Ghana has also implemented Continuous Climb Operations (CCOs) and Continuous Descent Operations (CDOs). These will ensure cost-effective aircraft operations through less fuel burn and also reduced carbon footprints on the environment,” he said.
The Director-General of GCAA, Mr. Simon Allotey called on African countries to discard political and cultural considerations and create the needed synergies to enhance safety and efficiency in the air navigation service delivery.
He observed that though Africa ANFPs have chalked some success in that regard, there was still inadequate collaboration among air service providers to increase infrastructural system planning and implementation.
“For instance, since the last decade, there have been the proliferation of aeronautical visa networks but most of them have had its extreme low utilisation,” he said.
The Director General of CANSO, Jeff Poole, emphasized the need for speedy separation of air navigation service provision from regulations to improve efficiency.
According to him, organisations that have the responsibility as regulator and service provider were mostly constrained to be more effective as the two responsibilities create conflict of interest.
He said it was therefore important that ANSPs carry out their core responsibility as service providers and not to also act as regulators.
By Charles Amankwa and Benedicta Ampadu Okyere