High-Level Meeting endorses new strategy to improve aviation safety in Africa

MONTREAL, 18 September 2007 – A new strategy for sustained improvements in aviation safety in Africa was endorsed yesterday by representatives of 40 States from the African Region and world aviation stakeholders during a high-level meeting held at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on the eve of the 36th Session of the Organization’s Assembly which runs from today to 28 September. The Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, or AFI Plan, was developed by ICAO in cooperation with African civil aviation authorities and the air transport industry. Entities taking an active part in the meeting included the African Union, the African Civil Aviation Commission, the European Commission and the World Bank.

“The AFI Plan represents the most coordinated and inclusive effort ever to deal with the very serious safety challenges facing the majority of African States. The positive response from States as well as donor organizations is very encouraging for the timely implementation of the Plan,” said Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council of ICAO.

The more than 300 participants from Africa and around the world agreed that a draft Resolution be submitted to the ICAO Assembly, calling for voluntary contributions to provide States in need with human and financial resources to implement the Plan. Finally, the meeting approved a Declaration indicating their commitment to reinforcing the African safety framework (attached).

The AFI Plan differs from past initiatives in that it integrates ICAO’s performance-based Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and the air transport industry’s new Global Aviation Safety Roadmap, both of which focus on activities with the highest return for improving safety. The result is a holistic and systemic approach based on a disciplined, programme management methodology. It includes specific key stakeholders, identification of risks, gap analyses, prioritized recommended actions and continuous monitoring and evaluation. The Plan will stress clearly defined objectives, outputs, activities and performance measures, as well as transparency and accountability at every level.

“The AFI Plan will only succeed with the political will of States and the enthusiastic, tangible support of industry and donors. In the end, this Plan is Africa’s Plan. It is your Plan. It was created with your help, to solve your problems, and will only work if you make it yours,” Kobeh told participants.

Under the leadership of ICAO, the Plan will draw upon expertise available in the Organization’s Headquarters and Regional Offices in Africa, the AFI Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APIRG), other Contracting States and concerned stakeholders such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) and international funding agencies like the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The Plan’s initial implementation phase is expected to cover a four-year period. The next step will be a special regional air navigation meeting in 2008, which will serve as a checkpoint for progress. A decision on the need to continue the Plan will be made by the ICAO Council after a three-year review.


Source: International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
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