ICAO and EASA Forum shows significant progress for African safety

ICAO/EASA Forum results in improved African collaboration and new global framework for cooperative regional aviation safety oversight.


ICAO and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), building on their common interest in the evolution of the ICAO and global framework for regional mechanisms to support State aviation safety oversight, achieved landmark progress last week as they co-hosted hundreds of officials for a special joint Global Forum on Regional Safety Oversight Organisations in Africa.

Hosted in Ezulwini, with the generous support and hospitality of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the ICAO-EASA event endorsed a proposal for a new global aviation safety oversight framework, while making significant progress on key objectives to improve the cooperation and efficiency of Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOOs) – both globally and in ICAO’s Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI) Region.

RSOOs are an integral aspect of global aviation safety, and provide a very effective mechanism for regional groups of States to pool their resources and benefit from economies of scale to resolve their safety oversight deficiencies.

Importantly, a special Ministerial event held in conjunction with the Forum also led to the signing of a formal Declaration on how African States will work to refine their collaborative efforts and improve aviation safety oversight continent-wide. The regional Ministerial Declaration endorsed the newly-proposed global oversight system, an action plan to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of RSOOs, and a new cooperative platform to facilitate the agreed evolution in regional collaboration.

During the opening of the Ministerial session, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed to Ministers that the events of the past week had represented a major milestone in the evolution of Regional Safety Oversight Organizations for civil aviation safety. He also noted that current and future aviation growth would strongly support the realization of the African Union’s regional safety targets, and especially its goal to drive inclusive growth, sustainable development, and the accelerated integration of African economies. 

“Africa is one of the fastest growing air transport markets in the world today, and its expanding aviation connectivity is delivering very positive impacts on local tourism and trade,” President Aliu highlighted.

“The presence of government Ministers at this meeting has helped to ensure these commitments will be treated seriously and sustainably, and we have been very encouraged that our shared objectives for collaborative AFI Region safety oversight have now been formalised through their official Declaration.”

Some 200 participants from 48 States and 32 international organisations attended the ICAO-EASA event in Swaziland, with 13 Ministers attending the Ministerial portion from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Swaziland, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome and Principe, Lesotho, Mauritania, and South Africa.

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