In quest to ensure a safe and sustainable recovery of aviation from the COVID-19 crisis, the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) has urged African Aviation States to work tirelessly towards seeking opportunities that guarantee safety confidence, security performance improvements and air transport growth
By Supporting this, ICAO is effectively addressing its policies and guidance on the economic regulation of international air transport, in collaboration with a variety of regional multilateral organizations.
Assistance provided to States by ICAO Regional Office Safety Teams (ROST) through the AFI Plan, coupled with partner support provided to various States, played a big part in achieving this result, with many AFI Plan support activities that have provided even since the advent of the pandemic.
ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu said,”The tremendous potential future for aviation in Africa could be achieved through the realization of regional commitments thus, aviation has the critical role to play in States’ pandemic recovery planning.”
She made these remarks when she was addressing Africa’s aviation leaders last week opening the 2021 AFI Aviation Week before addressing the Eighth Meeting of Directors General of Civil Aviation of the AFI Region (AFI-DGCA/8).
Dr Liu emphasised that in order for ICAO economic policies and guidance to be suitably customized to the African context, there was need to first ensure due alignment among the Lome Declaration on air cargo development in Africa, the Antananarivo Declaration on sustainable air transport development in Africa, and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as outlined in the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD).
Despite a decline in the number Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs), from seven in 2015 to just one in 2021, the AFI’s overall safety confidence and performance has shown some improvement.
Nonetheless, the AFI Region’s EI average is still below the global average, and continues to fall short of the 60% EI target set by the Abuja Declaration (2012), highlighting the importance of maintaining current momentum on the AFI Plan work programme.
The Secretary General further underscored that,”Air transport growth rates in Africa are among the fastest in the world prior to COVID-19. We must also recognize together that recent results could have been much more robust if not for persisting regulatory barriers, financial constraints, and the slow pace of air transport liberalization here.”
A high degree of priority, this publication learnt, has been assigned to the implementation of Assembly Resolution A40-9 – the Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies in the air transport field, and the relevant outcomes of the Sixth ICAO Air Transport Conference.
Dr. Liu also pointed out that that the implementation of the two Declarations is currently being monitored by ICAO through State Air Transport Action Plans (SATAPs), and via activities conducted in accordance with Recommendation 10 of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART).
CART recommendations, she added require implimentation by States as part of their recovery strategy, along with the proper consideration and adoption of the latest medical and scientific developments.
“The CART Recommendations provide significant guidance to the region’s aviation leaders as they address the fact that air transport performance in Africa declined by 58% in 2020 compared to 2019, with 78 million fewer passengers flying last year.”
She also reiterated that African States should attend and contribute to ICAO’s High Level Conference on COVID-19, which will take place in October 2021 under the theme “One Vision for Aviation Recovery, Resilience and Sustainability beyond the Global Pandemic” and contribute to the generation of global consensus on a multilateral approach.
Photo: courtesy – internationalairportreview
By Joyce Mukucha