The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is going to launch a new initiative to improve safety within the African aviation sector. This program, Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP), a part of the IATA’s broader Focus Africa project, which seeks to enhance the aviation sector’s contribution to the development of Africa, will play a significant role in reducing the occurrence of accidents and fatal incidents in the continent.
Although air travel is generally safe, ensuring safety in the African skies requires significant efforts. CASIP involves key partners like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), and Boeing, who will work together to address safety concerns, enhance air travel’s safety and efficiency, and tackle the increasing risk of air incidents. They will utilize safety management systems to identify risks, develop solutions, and make informed decisions through data analysis. Improved safety will have positive impacts on the continent’s economies and societies.
Enhancing aviation safety is crucial for Africa’s progress. CASIP highlights the importance of prioritizing aviation in national development strategies for governments across the continent of Africa. IATA expects other parties to join CASIP, motivated by its numerous benefits. Collaboration among regulatory authorities, air navigation service providers, airline operators, and airport managers is key to improving safety. CASIP enables these stakeholders to work together and ensure safer skies in Africa.
Implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) at the government level is an essential measure. In Africa, only 28 out of 54 nations achieved an implementation rate of at least 60% for ICAO SARPs in 2022, indicating room for improvement. Notably, South Africa is among these 28 countries and has one of the world’s highest safety standards. In a recent ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP), South Africa received an impressive implementation score of 92%, a 4.6% increase from the previous audit five years ago. This underscores the commitment of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to continuously enhance safety.
CASIP partners will identify safety deficiencies and implement corrective plans to improve air safety in Africa. They will launch training programs and provide safety-related data to decision-makers for efficient accident reporting. Poor safety culture increases risks and severe incidents, as proven by accident reports. IATA emphasizes the importance of organizational safety culture, involving all employees, to enhance safety performance in Africa. Collaboration between government and industry, as seen in Latin America, improves safety by implementing global standards. By pooling resources, partners aim to reduce risks and achieve measurable safety improvements. The program will be implemented at all organizational levels and extended to all African regions.