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CANSO Africa Conference is underway in Morocco

Posted 26 September 2017 · Add Comment

The 2017 CANSO Africa Conference is currently underway in Morocco.

“We need other states in Africa to join CANSO, and follow the example of our hosts, Morocco, who took a bold step and are now part of a collective, whose unwavering quest is to ensure safer skies,” said Mthiyane.

Mthiyane noted the perception - that of failing to meet the challenges brought about technological changes, with specific reference to the issue of reliable equipment which may lead to reduced and/or poor maintenance by African Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs), as a myth.

He said: “We all know that “once equipment is installed, it is reliable and economical to maintain for just over two years. But nonetheless, it is a fact that our engineers, who are tasked with providing the necessary maintenance tend to be complacent”.

Mthiyane stressed the issue of retraining to address this critical area of equipment maintenance, which has a huge impact on airspace safety.  The good news is that almost all African countries will be completing the Aviation System Block Upgrades by next year, 2018. 

Mthiyane brought the “No Country Left Behind” theme to the fore by asking those in attendance “What are well-resourced and technologically advanced African countries doing to assist one another in addressing the current aviation challenges?”. He further went on to state that the role of human resources should be taken seriously – for the successful implementation of technological evolution and the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, propelled by artificial intelligence. 

Mthiyane said: “We are currently busy assessing the impact of the Remote Tower Concept, both in terms of technology versus technology and technology versus human resources - a very complex case study – given the limited resources at our disposal. But this is doable. Strategic partnerships with industry, research and development institutions  and academia is key to our success. In line with the South African government’s challenges, we are already implementing measures to address poverty, unemployment and current economic inequalities”. 

CANSO Global Director General, Jeff Poole, called for shared ambition, commitment and partnership to ensure that ATM in Africa is ready to meet the expected surge in air traffic. Poole said that new technologies such as automation, digitisation and space-based surveillance enable air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to make the leap to the latest systems without having to address legacy systems or build expensive ground-based infrastructure.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be in aviation and air traffic management in Africa,” said Poole. “ This continent has huge potential to develop, increase trading links, and grow economies but at the moment this is hampered by poor connectivity and a fragmented air transport system. There is a vital role for efficient air traffic management to facilitate increased connectivity, enable access to markets, and increase tourism. New and emerging technologies provide the opportunity to modernise air traffic management more efficiently and at lower cost than ever before. Industry and States need to work together to grasp this opportunity.”

Poole added: “Now is the time of opportunity for even greater collaboration between industry, States and other stakeholders to prepare for expected traffic growth in Africa by modernising air traffic management and adopting the latest cost-effective technologies. The ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) provide a clear road map for States to modernise at their own pace and CANSO is on hand to provide advice and training on implementation. The ATM industry can provide the long-term planning and implementation of new technologies and infrastructure, while States should ensure that these improvements in ATM are properly financed. Together, with shared ambition, commitment and partnership, we can ensure that Africa reaps the benefits of its journey of growth: onwards and upwards”

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