Experts seek to change the aviation narrative in Africa

Tanimu Hassan/Na'ankwat Dariem

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Stakeholders in the aviation industry have gathered in Ethiopia and chatted on the way forward to change the  African Narrative.

This is to enable the air transport business to thrive and contribute to Africa’s sustainable rapid development.

According to them, it is timely to redefine the narrative of Africa’s air transport industry to that of interconnectedness, affordability, profitability, efficiency, and sustainability.

The Aviation Stakeholders Convention which is the 11th held under the theme “Changing the African Aviation Narrative”, was graced by the Ethiopian Minister of Tourism,  Nasise Chali,  and the Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics. Dr. Alemu Sime.

Speaking at the Convention on the importance to change the future of our industry with transformative ideas and actions, the Secretary General of the African Airlines Association, AFRAA Mr Abdérahmane Berthé, emphasized that African Airlines face many challenges that the industry needs to contemplate and find lasting solutions with serious consideration.

“Critical among the challenges facing our industry is sustainability. Only 10% of African citizens can afford air transport, meaning there is a huge room for growth. Reducing the cost of operation, cooperation among airlines, partnerships, and consolidation are part of AFRAA’s initiatives and advocacy to make air transport affordable for Africans,” he said.

The main objective of the Convention was to convene stakeholders to dialogue and deliberate on subject matters, to pave the way for the air transport industry’s development and change the narrative of African Aviation.

This Convention also aimed at establishing lasting interactions and partnerships among aviation players and airlines in the aviation value chain for win-win relationships that will benefit African aviation.

In the discussions, stakeholders took note of the following achievements made under the roadmap of the laboratory outcomes, among others.

On the development of a new model of sharing critical infrastructure to reduce investment costs, a data-gathering process has been launched in the field of technology used by Air Navigation Service providers (ANSPs), procurement, and investment practices.

Regarding the FRA progress, two member airlines volunteered to participate in a total of 5 city pairs in the FRA trials. FRA implementation on these routes is estimated to avoid burning 3,200 metric tons of fuel, emitting 10,100 metric tons of CO2, and yield savings of US$ 2,784,000 annually. The FRA trials are planned to start in 2023.

On SAATM, a total of 20 States have committed to the Pilot Implementation Programme, PIP, as of April 2023.

For each of the States lined up for the PIP roadshows, States are being engaged to sign MoUs to carry out the gap analysis of the BASAs.

After the conclusion of the Convention, AFRAA, in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines and Collins Aerospace, staged a 1-day youth event on 10 May 2023 as part of CSR activities aimed at empowering and motivating the next generation of aviators at the Ethiopian Aviation University.

The event was sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines and Collins Aerospace. A total of 130 high school students from 10 schools in Ethiopia benefited from the initiative, which is aimed at supporting youth development in aviation.

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