Africa focus in new air safety scheme to reduce flight risks

Airlines are to look to a new scheme to reduce the risks of flying in Africa.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP) to reduce the accident and serious incident rate across Africa as part of the Focus Africa initiative.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) have combined to become the launch partners for the programme.

Together, the CASIP partners will prioritize the most pressing safety concerns on the continent and rally the resources needed to address them. The benefits of improving aviation safety in Africa will be spread across the economies and societies of the continent.

“Improving aviation safety will play an important role in Africa’s overall development. Safe, efficient and reliable air connectivity is a major driving contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In that sense, CASIP will make it clear to governments across the continent that aviation must be prioritized as an integral part of national development strategies. With such broad benefits at stake, we hope that other parties will be encouraged to join the CASIP effort,” said Willie Walsh, (pic) IATA’s director general.

The starting point for safety improvement is the effective use of global standards for safety. At government level, a key indicator is effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). Data for the year 2022 reveals considerable room for improvement with only 28 of 54 African states reaching an effective implementation rate for ICAO SARPS of 60% or higher.

In parallel, the CASIP partners revealed they will:

  • Identify deficiencies in operational safety and implement corrective action plans.
  • Provide safety training and workshops continent wide.
  • Promote a data-driven approach to safety performance with emphasis on making safety data available to decision-makers and ensuring efficient accident/incident reporting

“Improving safety performance is a priority for Africa. And we don’t need to reinvent the wheel to deliver the needed results. Collaborative safety teams in Latin America have demonstrated that safety improves when government and industry work together to implement global standards. By working together, the partners will pool resources to have a greater impact on areas where risk can be reduced, leading to measurable improvements in safety,” said Walsh.