By Beaven Dhliwayo.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Airline Association (AFRAA) have teamed up to pave the way for further development in the African aviation sector.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Sydney, Australia, this week deepens the cooperation between the associations to exchange information, expertise, and capabilities.
IATA said on its website on Sunday, the MoU was signed by, IATA Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac and AFRAA Secretary General, Abderahmane Berth on the sidelines of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney.
De Juniac said under the MoU, IATA, and AFRAA would exchange information, expertise, and capabilities and work jointly to enhance safety.
He said the organizations hope to achieve this by assisting airlines to successfully implement the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) and IATA Ground Handling Manual (IGOM).
According to him, both organizations will promote regional air connectivity by working jointly with governments to implement supporting the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)
He said they encourage data exchange among aviation stakeholders to improve the passenger experience and enhance security through capacity building.
De Juniac also said they will liberate airline funds blocked by governments from repatriation by advising governments on best practices to clear backlogs and achieve reasonable levels of taxes and charges.
He said this will be achieved by helping governments to focus on the social and economic benefits of aviation.
“Africa is full of potential. Unlocking the economic and social benefits of aviation is a critical element of the continental development.
Achieving Africa potential, however, will not happen by chance. Continuous improvement in safety, an effective regulatory framework, and fit-for-purpose infrastructure are essential.
To achieve that; strong partnerships are key. This MoU will strengthen IATA already close relationship with AFRAA and help ensure that global standards and best practices form the backbone of Africa aviation growth,” said de Juniac.
On his part, Berthe said the MoU paves the way for further development in African aviation. Air transport already supports 6.8 million jobs and generates $72.5 billion of economic activity on the continent.
“AFRAA and IATA share a common vision which is the development of a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry in Africa that facilitates business, trade, and tourism and contributes positively to Africa’s economic growth and development.
This MoU with IATA will commit both our organizations to work together even closer on the main priorities for African aviation. In particular, we count on IATA to provide the requisite technical support across a number of areas such as improving aviation infrastructure and capacity building with national regulators,” he said.
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