Ugandan safety conference focuses on the reality of transition to safe practices
AviAssist has successfully completed is third Pan-African safety seminar "2Gether 4Safety" with an event in Entebbe, Uganda designed to help develop safer operations for African aviation.
“Hosting it in the town that hosts East Africa’s regional safety oversight agency CASSOA, underlines the commitment of the Foundation to regional aviation safety solutions” AviAssist Foundation's director Tom Kok said. “Only by working together for safety can we try to meet the ambitious targets set by the African industry and governments early 2013”
Speaking on behalf of Air Uganda’s CEO Cornwell Muleya, quality manager Deo Tonda spoke of Air Uganda’s commitment to safety. Air Uganda’s commitment was recently rewarded with renewal of its IATA IOSA certificate. Tonda spoke of Air Uganda’s continued commitment to work hand in hand with the Foundation and others in aggressively working on the implementation of the Five Point action plan known as the Abuja declaration of 2013. The seminar addressed 4 out of the 5 points from the Abuja declaration.
“The seminar is one of the Foundation's contributions to the plans of the African aviation industry to bring accident levels to the global average by 2015” Kok explained. “This edition once more demonstrated that there is a core of aviation safety professionals in Africa whose ability and enthusiasm easily match international standards. Africa has to get to a situation where the global aviation community judges Africa by commitment, not simply by continent. But that also means that organisations and professionals have to demonstrate that commitment, among others by attending unique events such as the 2Gether 4Safety seminar” Kok added.
The two-day seminar focused on safety management, safety oversight, airport safety issues and just culture. Among the topics of this year’s conference were Flight Data Management, Airport Wildlife Management, Runway Safety, recent developments in airport fire fighting and civil military co-operation.
Coastal Aviation from Tanzania opened the seminar with a very frank insight into the challenges smaller operators might face to move from ‘optional’ safety meetings to effective platforms to exchange significant events. “Having followed an ICAO SMS course is one thing, putting that into practice in the daily reality of a low capacity operator is another” Coastal’s safety manager Eve Jackson said.
Air Uganda’s Capt. Steven Wegoye presented on the data that Air Uganda captures from its Flight Data Management programme. “Ranking those data into top 10 events helps us prioritise our resources because we all have limited resources, whether you are a major operator like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines or a regional champion such as Air Uganda” Wegoye reminded the audience.
Harriet Angetile from National Airports Corporation Ltd. Zambia spoke of the challenge of balancing construction activities with aircraft operations. “National Airports is currently undertaking major construction works at a number of its airports” Angetile explained. “Next to pure aviation operational issues, we also realised the importance of balancing political understanding of safety needs with the desire to complete works swiftly to ensure public benefit from the new infrastructure” Angetile added. “This means that you have to put in place a solid project construction plan that aims to address all these issues”
KLM’s Capt. Jaco Bruggeling spoke of the importance of looking very wide for a working Safety Management System. Capt. Bruggeling is one of KLM’s Check Pilots for Africa on the airline’s Airbus-330 fleet. “This includes working with our station management across the world, including Africa. Station managers find themselves closest to a lot of the hazards in avaition operations and it would be a missed opportunity not to include them in your SMS” Bruggeling concluded.
“2Gether 4Safety is offering the opportunity for operators to collaborate with peers about best safety practices, with smaller operations benefitting from the lessons and practices of larger operations” Kok said. "Obviously, smaller operations may not have experience with – or even access to – the safety programmes their larger counterparts have benefitted from. This is their chance to see what others are doing. And we were very pleased to again have more African presenters than last year, sharing their experience".
The next edition of Africa’s only international seminar dedicated to operational aviation safety issues and solutions will take place on 19 & 20 November 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.