Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Africa have signed a regional agreement to enhance aviation safety and security on the continent.
Under the agreement, known as the “Declaration on Air Traffic Management (ATM) Safety in Africa,” ANSPs from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, and Uganda will be required to subject their safety management systems to a peer review mechanism, as part of efforts to improve air transport in the region.
Others signatories are the ANSPs from South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia.
This was announced at this year’s Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa conference in Accra, held under the theme, “Ensuring Safe and Efficient Airspace – Separating Regulation from Services Provision.”
In an address, the Minister for Transport, Mr Fifi Kwetey, said the airline industry had proven that strategic partnership through alliances and code-sharing arrangements could create synergies and bring about efficiency for sustainable development of air transport.
This, he said, was possible among ANSPs, urging CANSO to work to improve the operational efficiency of weaker members, in line with the vision to make Africa globally competitive.
“The global vision of seamless air traffic management has no place for any weak link. No country should be left behind, Africa cannot be left behind,” Mr Kwetey emphasized.
On aviation in Ghana, the Minster said the sector had undergone tremendous growth.
He said Ghana had fully implemented Performance Based Navigation (PBN) at three of its airports, which included 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.
For his part, the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Mr. Simon Allotey, called on African countries to discard political and cultural considerations to be able to create the needed synergy to enhance safety and efficiency in air navigation service delivery.
He observed that though African ANSPs had made significant gains 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 extremely low utilisation,” he said.
The Director-General of CANSO, Mr. Jeff Poole, emphasized the need for speedy separation of air navigation service provision from regulation to improve efficiency.
“What we want is for air navigation service providers to be able to operate like normal businesses and be able to make their own investment decisions, improve performance and be much more customer focused to air space users then they have been in the past, Poole said.”
”This is to make sure that the regulator is setting the requirement that ensures that they regulate the body that is providing the air navigation service.”
According to Mr. Poole, CANSO’s experience in other countries had shown that when service provision was separated from regulation, the values of providing better services were unlocked.