Africa 2012 Aviation Safety Summit being held to enhance air safety


The Africa 2012 Aviation Safety Summit, currently underway in Johannesburg, is being convened by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to adopt the required achievable strategies to strengthen safety oversight and enhance the regional safety performance by the end of year 2015.

According to IATA, an analysis of fifty-six (56) accidents involving African carriers over the last five years shows the main contributory factors includes weak regulatory oversight, improper certification of air operators, pilot qualification and training, and non-adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). As a result, the two most prevalent air incidents and/or accidents fall are runway excursions and loss of control.

Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) South Africa is actively taking part in the summit. Commenting during the second day of the summit, ATNS CEO, Patrick Dlamini, said “Africa needs to invest more in aviation skills and knowledge. We are almost there though”.

Dlamini further mentioned that aviation, specifically aviation safety, is very critical in any economic activity and its role in the international markets cannot be downplayed.

Luke Hawkins, ATNS Senior Manager Safety & Regulation Assurance, has been tasked to work with the Task Force that will develop the African Strategic Safety Improvement (SSI) Action Plan. The SSI Plan is aimed at addressing the continent’s safety challenges and also significant safety improvement by the end of 2015.

Hein Reid, Senior Manager Operations and Johnny Smit, Centre Manager at the ATNS Johannesburg Centre, will serve as panelists during the “Runway Safety and Loss of Control” discussion”, taking place on 15th May 2012. The discussion will look into the planning, training and the effective implementation measures of the “runway safety toolkit” to ensure that all relevant personnel are adequately and properly trained to meet the set standards.

It is anticipated that over two-hundred (200) participants will attend the summit, including Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of African Airlines, Directors General of Civil Aviation Authorities of African States and selected officials of Key Aviation stakeholders.

The Summit takes place from 14th to 16th May 2012.