The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), the current partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the African Civil Aviation Commission are boosting the ‘Focus Africa” initiative; a scheme by the IATA.
The scheme, Focus Africa, as communicated by IATA, is to increase the benefits from the aviation sector in aiding the continent’s commercial and civil establishments as well as upgrade connectivity, security, and trustworthiness for commuters and transporters.
Mr. Willie Walsh who is IATA’s Director General, had this to say “Focus Africa is all about establishing a coalition of partners committing to pool their resources and delivering a set of African air transport solutions that let the continent, its people and economies play a greater, more meaningful and representative role in the global economy.
“The combined contributions of AFCAC and AASA will be critical to Focus Africa’s success. Africa accounts for 18 per cent of the global population but less than 3% of global GDP and just 2.1 per cent of air passenger and cargo transport activity. With the right interventions those gaps will be closed, and Africa will benefit from the connectivity, jobs, and growth that aviation enables.”
Adefunke Adeyemi, AFCAC Secretary-General, said due to the projection of the African populace increasing by over a billion by 2050, the need to enter, supply and establish intra-African markets is pivotal. Based on this projection, profitable commercial activities need to be set up. She said it has been shown by other areas that, the air haulage network opens wide profitability.
The secretary-general further went on to say that the as African Union’s civil aviation agency, we will aid the Focus Africa scheme by establishing systemized regulations created to give life to the networking and boost our planned target.
Aaron Muntesi, AASA CEO, said that “Time is not on our side as AASA’s members and the communities they serve face rising costs, unprecedented unemployment, obsolete constraints on trade and market access, inadequate infrastructure, and a looming skills shortage. These demand urgent action, so we do not get stranded on the runway. It is why we have no hesitation standing with IATA and other Focus Africa partners,”
The 6 priority points as mentioned shall be discussed by heads of airlines, airports, air navigation services, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, industry suppliers, and other investors at the IATA Focus Africa Conference, hosted by Ethiopian Airlines, in Addis Ababa on 20-21 June.
IATA revealed the inclusion of ANA and Westjet in their Turbulence Aware Platform of their 79th IATA Annual General Meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The platform was created in 2018 in order to aid flights reduce the adverse effect of turbulence as this is a major reason for commuter and cabin crew injuries as well as soaring costs of aviation fuel each year.
The platform pools random statistics on turbulence from a plethora of flights by airlines engaging in the program.
Flight captains and carriers can pick special flight routes, steer clear of turbulence by flying at maximum heights to boost fuel economy and lower carbon discharge through on-time, precise data.
The International Air Transport Association stated that “The challenge of managing turbulence is expected to grow as climate change continues to impact weather patterns. This has implications for both safety and efficiency of flight. Turbulence Aware is a significant improvement in turbulence reporting and avoiding excess fuel consumption.”
The IATA’s Director General, Walsh, also said that the precise and prompt information enables the crews to upgrade security by steering clear of turbulence. He believes the inclusion of ANA and Westjet widens operations in Asia Pacific and North America, saying the greater the number of donors, the more value everybody receives.
The year 2022, produced 31 million reports while presently, 20 airlines engage in the IATA Turbulence Aware Platform producing daily information from 1,900 planes.
ANA plans to commence producing information from its Boeing 737 planes and future plans are underway for its remaining planes.
Already WestJet is taking information from 24 planes and also has a year future plan to commence with 60 more planes.
In June 19-20, 2023, IATA is planning a Turbulence Aware User Forum at Westjet’s Campus, Calgary, Canada. This forum is to assemble further responses from airlines and discuss with OEMs and other manufacturers in the industry.