Improved African aviation safety targeted at UN forum
“The foundation for a much safer and efficient air transport system throughout Africa has been laid,” ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González told 281 participants from 19 African States and four international organizations at a two-week seminar in Addis Ababa.“With completion of this first seminar and workshop, participating African States are in a much better position to successfully meet the very serious safety challenges that confront the region.”The ICAO State Safety Programme/Safety Management Systems Seminar and Workshop from 22 September to 3 October marks the first in a planned series of safety-related activities for Africa under the Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Comprehensive Implementation Programme.The overall objective of the programme is to enhance aviation safety through increased cooperative efforts by government and global industry stakeholders, under the leadership of ICAO, to effectively address deficiencies identified through ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme.Conference participants were introduced to the recognized safety management concept – with its supporting programmes for service providers, including airlines, air traffic services and airports, and for civil aviation authorities – as a predictive approach to safety. ICAO analysis indicates that traditional safety strategies and initiatives focused on the outcomes of accidents and regulatory solutions to specific technical problems have begun to stall.In a related move, ICAO has halved the minimum vertical distance between aircraft in AFI airspace, resulting in more efficient flight operations and related benefits for airlines, passengers and the environment. The reduction from 2000 to 1000 feet between 29,000 and 41,000 feet, provides access to more efficient cruising levels, leading to less fuel burn with related annual savings for the AFI region of an estimated $85 million.It should also result in an annual reduction of 250,000 tons of global warming carbon dioxide and create six additional flight levels, increasing overall efficiency of airspace management, better on-time performance, and fewer delays on the major air traffic routes between Africa and other regions. 14 October 2008The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is seeking to boost air safety in Africa, organizing workshops and fine-tuning in-air flight separation regulations.