HARARE – The African Airline Association (AFRAA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have teamed up to facilitate development of the aviation sector on the continent.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Sydney, Australia, this week seeks to deepen cooperation between the two associations in exchanging information, expertise and capabilities.
IATA said on its website on Sunday, the MoU was signed by its director general and chief executive 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 expected to achieve this by assisting airlines to successfully implement the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) and the IATA Ground Handling Manual (IGOM).
According to de Juniac, both organizations would promote regional air connectivity by working jointly with governments to support implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)
He said the two organisations would encourage data exchange among aviation stakeholders to improve the passenger experience and enhance security through capacity building.
“Africa is full of potential. Unlocking the economic and social benefits of aviation is a critical element of the continental development,” he said.
Achieving the potential, however, would not happen by chance as continuous improvement in safety, an effective regulatory framework, and fit-for-purpose infrastructure were essential, he said, adding to achieve that, strong partnerships were required.
“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 paved the way for further development of the aviation industry in Africa, where air transport already supported 6.8 million jobs and generated $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,” he said.
“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. – New Ziana