Regional aviation players want more funding to create a safer African airspace, as they push for interoperability that will see pilots receive seamless communication from any ground-based system.
They made the call recently at the Africa Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) conference in Mombasa, Kenya. The meeting sought to boost collaborative efforts towards air safety operations.
“Some aviation organisations are struggling to get up-to-date equipment and technology to safely manage their airspaces,” said Africa CANSO chairman Hamza Johari, who is also the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority director-general.
The aviation players also said that the fee airlines pay to use their facilities was not enough to fund their infrastructure development and bring it at par with the International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.
“Within the region, we are doing way better given that governments in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have given their aviation regulators freedom and financial support. Some countries are not as lucky which brings about the issue of air safety, making the continent unattractive for aviation investment,” said Mr Johari.
Aviation players say investments would boost efficiency at airports by reducing delays and improve the predictability of events during a flight.
“We want to work together more efficiently and transparently. This will help to refine the processes and information flow,” said the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director-general Captain Gilbert Kibe.
CANSO deputy director-general Simon Hocquard said that African countries need to harmonise their regulations in order to collaborate more efficiently.
“Almost all African countries have their own set of aviation regulations which hinders smooth collaborations,” said Mr Hocquard.
“Partnerships are key to improving air traffic safety, operations and connectivity. We need solid partnerships at a strategic and practical level,” he said.