IATA: key to deliver aviation's benefits in Africa
Safety, competitiveness, infrastructure, harmonization
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments in Africa to maximize the positive social and economic power of aviation by working together to promote safe, sustainable and efficient air connectivity, during the 50th Annual General Assembly ("AGA") meeting of the African Airline Association (AFRAA) in Morocco.
Safety was highlighted as a positive example of progress through collaboration. Only 24 African States comply with at least 60% of ICAO SARPS (Standards and Recommended Practices).
Closer Cooperation with Governments IATA called for an aviation agenda to focus on: Improving competitiveness, developing effective infrastructure, modernizing the regulatory framework focusing on global standards and connectivity; and ensuring a well-trained and diverse workforce.
Airlines in Africa, on average, lose $1.55 for every passenger carried. Establishing competitive cost structures that enable growth and reducing blocked funds are essential to improving the competitiveness of African aviation.
In Africa there are infrastructure problems in two extremes: in some cases it is overbuilt and expensive, in other cases, it is deficient and cannot meet demand.
IATA expressed strong support for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative.
To date, 27 African governments have committed to SAATM and IATA encourages the remaining 28 African Union member States to come on board quickly to enjoy the potential benefits of a connected African economy.
Sustainable and Gender Diverse Workforce
Supporting the projected growth of aviation in Africa –a quadrupling of passengers over the next two decades- will require an expanded labor force. The Association called on governments to develop policies to build their training pipeline to support growth and tap into the power of women to help alleviate a growing skills shortage in the region.
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