SURMOUNTING challenges of connectivity and building infrastructure in airports around the African continent were among the reasons the world airline body , International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Airline Association (AFRAA) signed a memorandum of understanding to further entrench cooperation.
The MoU signed by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, and AFRAA’s Secretary General, Abderahmane Berthe on the sidelines of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney will also deepen relationships in other areas including safety, security, taxes and charges and blocked funds.
Under the MoU, IATA and AFRAA will exchange information, expertise and capabilities and work jointly to: Enhance safety by assisting airlines to successfully implement the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) and IATA
Ground Operations Manual (IGOM);promote regional air connectivity by working jointly with governments to support the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM); encourage data exchange among aviation stakeholders to improve the passenger
experience; enhance security through capacity building; liberate airline funds blocked by governments from repatriation by advising
governments on best practices to clear backlogs.
The MoU will also look at ways of achieving reasonable levels of taxes and charges by helping governments to focus on the long-term social and economic benefits of aviation.
The MoU paves the way for further development in African aviation, which already supports 6.8 million jobs and generates $72.5 billion of economic activity on the continent.
“Strong partnerships are key to fully unlocking aviation’s tremendous economic and social benefits for Africa. This MoU will strengthen IATA’s already close relationship with AFRAA, with a shared commitment to continuous improvements in safety, an effective regulatory framework, and fit-for-purpose infrastructure. Our partnership will help to ensure that global standards and best practices form the backbone of Africa’s aviation growth,” said de Juniac.
Also speaking Berthe said, “AFRAA and IATA share a common vision – 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.”