NEWS Alert

The International Air Transport Association Launches the Focus Africa Initiative

On April 3rd, 2023, the International Air Transport Association’s (“IATA”) Director General, Willie Walsh, announced IATA’s Focus Africa Initiative. IATA has structured this initiative to serve six key areas of African Aviation: safety, infrastructure, connectivity, finance & distribution, sustainability, and future skills.

To achieve these goals, IATA will “promote the liberalization of intra-African market access through the Single African Air Transport Market.” IATA will use a data-driven, collaborative approach to safety. Infrastructure plans will be designed to be efficient, secure, and cost-effective. Program leaders will prioritize speed and cost-efficiency in the implementation of financial services and in the adoption of modern retailing standards. IATA will coordinate with Africa’s air transport industry stakeholders in fulfilling the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Finally, the program will promote aviation as a career path among African states’ workforces.

Mr. Walsh observed, “Africa accounts for 18% of the global population, but just 2.1% of air transport activities (combined cargo and passenger). Closing that gap, so that Africa can benefit from the connectivity, jobs, and growth that aviation enables, is what Focus Africa is all about.” Mr. Walsh attributed this gap to regulatory red tape, cost barriers, infrastructure issues, suboptimal connectivity, specialized labor shortages, and a shortfall on global aviation standards.

The Focus Africa initiative will be launched at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 20th to 21st, 2023 This conference will focus on: improving safety and security; improving regulations; strengthening connectivity; coinciding with IATA’s “Modern Airline Retailing” goals; ensuring infrastructure and capacity-building; and ensuring a skilled workforce for the future.

The Wicks Group, PLLC (“TWG”) is proud to be assisting the Republic of Angola’s civil aviation authority (“ANAC”) in ensuring their aviation industry’s compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Annexes. Further discussions of TWG’s work in the Republic of Angola were published to the TWG website on December 5th and 19th, 2022. TWG looks forward to continuing its work in the Republic of Angola to aid ANAC in furthering reforms that will enable the Republic to achieve excellence in civil aviation safety.

Established in 1999 and based in Washington, DC, TWG has a lengthy record of providing technical assistance to civil aviation authorities (“CAAs”) worldwide, including but not limited to the CAAs of India, Panama, Cabo Verde, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Trinidad and Tobago. In all, ten FAA Category 1 ratings have been issued to TWG IASA technical assistance clients to date – a 100% track record. TWG also regularly assists foreign air carriers with obtaining the US government approvals needed for US air carrier operations and foreign repair stations with securing FAA certification required to maintain US-registered aircraft.

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