The companies that provide air navigation services across Africa have committed to a joint initiative to improve aviation safety across the continent.
Members of CANSO – the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation – have signed a declaration to address critical safety issues in air traffic management (ATM). The Declaration on the Africa ATM Safety Peer Review Initiative commits air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to form teams to conduct peer reviews of each other’s safety management systems, with CANSO coordinating the initiative and providing expert guidance.
Speaking at the CANSO Africa Conference in Accra, Ghana, CANSO Director General Jeff Poole said: “Safety is our number one priority and the Africa ATM Safety Peer Review Initiative will further enhance safety in air traffic management in the region. This initiative is a significant milestone and a great example of partnership in action as ANSPs work with each other, as well as aviation industry partners, to implement effective safety management systems.”
The participating ANSPs will form teams and visit each team member to conduct peer reviews. They will assess and evaluate the implementation of safety management systems (SMS) by each participating ANSP – based on the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems and other safety materials produced by CANSO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – and identify specific areas for improvement.
The initiative will enable participating ANSPs to standardise the elements of their safety management systems, thus facilitating enhanced data analysis, safety risk management and performance measurement, which are key enablers for higher overall levels of safety performance.
The results will allow ANSPs to determine the maturity levels of their safety management systems and communicate these to the satisfaction of ICAO and ANSP regulators, in turn reducing the need for regulator assessments and/or ICAO audits.
Poole concluded, “All parts of the aviation industry are working hard to improve safety in Africa. This initiative will support continuous overall improvement in ATM and aviation safety in Africa in a consistent, measurable and sustainable manner. I am delighted that CANSO Members in Africa have signed this declaration, and I urge all ANSPs in Africa to embrace the initiative and make Africa’s skies safer.”