"This paper explores recent developments in African civil aviation"
AIR UNIVERSITY AFRICA COMMAND SYMPOSIUM TRACK 1 - Air Domain Safety and Security in Africa Maxwell Air Force Base – Montgomery, Alabama (31 March – 2 April 2009) THE CHALLENGES OF AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY IN AFRICA Capt. Haile Belai Chief, AFI Comprehensive Implementation Programme (ACIP) International Civil Aviation Organization Mr. Facilitator Distinguished Participants Ladies and Gentlemen It really gives me a great pleasure to be here today and share my experience and that of my Organization on the challenges of aviation safety and security in Africa with the participants of this highly important Symposium. Aviation being a highly dynamic and complex undertaking has, since its first inception faced new and demanding challenges both in the technical and economic areas. Today, we are all aware that, due to its nature, challenges faced by the aviation system in any given region has the ability to impact the safety and security systems all over the world. Although challenges faced by the various regions seem to be similar, in Africa, it seems that the majority of the States are faced with Africa-specific challenges and burdened with issues that are no more manifested in significant numbers in the rest of the world. Today, the situation with respect to aviation safety and security in Africa is of serious concern to the aviation community and all stakeholders of the air transport industry. A healthy air transport industry is a major driver of economic development and one of the main contributors to the social and economic development of any given State or region. This is specifically true where other means of transport/communication are not highly developed. For example, Africa, the second largest continent with the second highest number of habitants – close to one billion in 2008 has the least developed surface transport infrastructure in the world – road transport 7.6 km per 100 km sq and rail transport system at 2.5 km per 1000 km sq – about ten percent of the world average. This would mean that as the only viable alternative, air transport would be robust and highly developed in the region meaning that its safety and security would be maintained at the highest possible level to ensure that its contribution to the national economy would not be threatened. Sadly, this remains a wish that has yet to be achieved. For example, over the last 10 years (1999-2008) a total of 334 records of accidents and serious incidents were available with the State of Occurrence being in the African region. The data available also indicated that 46 of the 53 African States have suffered accidents and/or serious incidents during this period. Slide Two – ADREP Data (1999-2008) However, you can also note that if we were to focus on five or six States with the highest number of accidents as depicted in the chart, we would definitely be able to bring down the accident rate to that of the global average and in the process also lower the global average of aircraft accident rates. Slide Three – Global Accident Rate If we analyze the global accident rates over the same ten years we see that the fatal accident rates per million scheduled operations for Africa is eight to nine times to that of the world average. High accident rates do not necessarily mean high number of accidents. However, a share of less than 3% of the global civil aviation activities conducted over the last four decades makes a single accident in Africa to represent a high rate of accident than would ten accidents in a highly active region. Slide Four – Global Air Transport Activity (2007) This fact also means that the majority of African States cannot generate adequate funding from aviation activities and therefore will have to subsidize the air transport industry from the little resources that they have. As a result, resources will have to be taken away from more pressing challenges such as poverty, hunger, health, etc., to support aviation activities rendering air transport as a drain rather than a contributor to the economy. The point is that African States would not be able to continue to subsidize aviation activities at the cost of other pressing challenges. In fact, one of the reasons that we have sizable deficiencies in the system in Africa is because aviation is not capable to generate the required funds to ensure high level of safety and security. This problem of insufficient funding is already manifested in the majority of the States as can be derived from the outcome of the safety oversight audits conducted by ICAO and other entities. Slide Five – ICAO Safety Oversight Audit Results The situation in the area of aviation security is not much different than that of the situation in safety. The ICAO aviation security audits have shown that in all respects of evaluating the audit results, Africa lags well behind the global situation as can be ascertained from the audit findings. Slide Six a – ICAO Security Audit Results Since the launching of the ICAO Aviation Security Audit Programme, 48 out of the 53 African States have been audited. The remaining 5 States were not audited because of the security situation in the States. For the 48 States, the audits indicated that the level of implementation of Annex 17 Standards is by far lower in Africa than it is in the rest of the world. While only 17 percent of the Annex Standards were not effectively implemented at the global level, the percentage for Africa stood at 33 percent – twice as much as the global average including Africa. Slide Six b – ICAO Security Audit Results, Africa by Region Further review by sub-regions shows that States in the Western and Central African Region have implemented fewer Annex 17 Standards than did the Eastern and Southern African Region or the Northern African Region. Air Domain Safety and Security in Africa Aviation Safety and Security Challenges in Africa Montgomery, Alabama 31 Mar.-2 Apr. 2009 Haile Belai, C/ACIP/ICAO 2 Yet, further analysis of the findings assessed at the national (regulatory) and service provider (airports) level indicates that it is at the national level that States have pro blems in implementing Annex 17 Standards. That States lack the necessary resources to strengthen their safety obligations is equally true in the area of aviation security. For example, in the Western and Central African Region, the information gathered through the audits indicates that none of the Standards directed at the national level has been fully implemented and only a very low percentage of the Standards have been partially implemented. Slide Seven – ICAO Aviation Security Audit Results, WACAF Region Although not at all satisfactory, at least 13 percent of the Standards have been fully implemented at the airport level while 47 percent are partially implemented. Slide Eight – ICAO Aviation Security Audit Follow-up Results A follow-up audit of 142 States including 37 African States conducted between two and three years after the initial audits were conducted revealed that the full implementation level has risen from 35 percent to 58 percent while Standards that have not been implemented were lowered from 15 percent to seven percent. In contrast, with respect to the 37 African States that have been visited on a follow-up audit, the level of full implementation only raised by 11 percent from 22 percent to 33 percent while the Standards not implemented was only reduced by only nine percent. The partially implemented Standards for the African States remained at the same level. Those numbers are factual indicators of the safety and security challenges faced by African States. For the challenges to be successfully addressed, obviously, there is a need for a concerted effort by all concerned parties and stakeholders. The reality is that it will be very difficult for individual African States to meet this challenge at the national level. ICAO has been aware of the challenges faced by African States for a considerable time and has made several efforts to assist States to overcome them. However, over the last years it was clear that the efforts made were not adequate and there was a need for a new approach. To this end, ICAO developed the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa. Slide Nine – AFI Plan The Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa (AFI Plan) was developed to address the concerns expressed by the ICAO Council on the safety status of aircraft operations in the AFI Region. The Council was aware that the acute economic and political issues influencing the situation in the AFI Region posed a complex challenge with respect to aviation safety that truly demanded a new approach. ICAO therefore developed the AFI Plan to address aviation safety concerns and support African States to meet their international obligations for safety oversight. Slide Ten and Eleven – AFI Plan Implementation However, for the Plan to succeed it is absolutely necessary that: States and Regional Organizations in the AFI Region must be actively engaged and committed; Existing regional cooperation must be strengthened and evolve to empowered Regional Safety Oversight Organizations; Air Domain Safety and Security in Africa Aviation Safety and Security Challenges in Africa Montgomery, Alabama 31 Mar.-2 Apr. 2009 Haile Belai, C/ACIP/ICAO 3 Industry and donors must commit to cooperate with ICAO and the African States in the implementation of priority projects; Contracting States, industry and donors must commit to undertake projects that address the priorities identified; and ICAO integrate the capabilities and resources available at HQ with that available at Regional Offices, Contracting States and Industry partners. To lead, facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the Plan, the AFI Comprehensive Implementation Programme (ACIP) was established as of 1 January 2008. ACIP developed three areas on which it will focus its efforts and resources to assist African States. These are: Slide Twelve – ACIP Focus Areas 1. Enabling States to establish and maintain a sustainable safety oversight system. Under this focus area, ACIP cooperates and coordinates with all stakeholders in order to assist States to build the capability for an effective and sustainable safety oversight system, individually or at the Regional level. Taking into consideration the existing capability of most of the African States, ACIP and stakeholders clearly support the establishment of Regional Safety Oversight Organizations on the basis of existing platforms and cooperative agencies. 2. Assisting States to resolve identified deficiencies in the shortest possible time. In this focus area, ACIP is charged to promote and encourage Regional cooperation based on existing Regional platforms, to assist States to resolve identified deficiencies. This is a short-term solution because the ultimate goal is to enable States to develop and maintain an effective safety oversight system, either nationally or at a Regional level. ACIP is also charged to promote and facilitate cooperation among existing African aviation training centres and take advantage of the centres for capacity building activities directed at resolving identified deficiencies. 3. Assist aviation service providers in Africa to enhance the development of a safety culture among their employees and in conducting their business. This is an area where ICAO is closely working with the aviation industry to enhance the overall safety of aircraft operations. To this end, ACIP has developed guidance material for States to enable them to establish and maintain a State Safety Programme (SSP) that will also include a requirement for the industry to develop Safety Management Systems (SMS). ACIP conducts SSP and SMS training courses in English and French. To give effect to its plan of action, ACIP has developed a schedule of activities that are wide ranging and highly resource intensive. Slide Thirteen – ACIP programme of activities – 2009 However, we are all conscious that it is not the number of activities, but the effectiveness and sustainability of the outcome that will bring change in the continent. We are also convinced that the success of the Programme depends on the participation of all stakeholders and players in the AFI Region. Slide Fourteen – Conclusion Air Domain Safety and Security in Africa Aviation Safety and Security Challenges in Africa Montgomery, Alabama 31 Mar.-2 Apr. 2009 Haile Belai, C/ACIP/ICAO 4 In conclusion, more than at any time, today we have come to accept that aviation activities in the majority of the States in Africa are so low that they cannot generate sufficient funds to support safety and security oversight; however, we are also aware that properly established and managed aviation can significantly contribute to the social and economic development of the continent. Today, aviation activities in the continent are heavily subsidized taking away resources from other major challenges. We also recognize that this will not continue and aviation will not be allowed to take away resources required for poverty alleviation, public health, education, etc., indefinitely. Slide Fifteen – Conclusion To meet the challenges and overcome the problems, we are convinced that African States need to cooperate and organize under regional establishments to create the critical mass required to establish and maintain effective and sustainable safety oversight systems. In this effort, they will require the support of other States, Industry and stakeholders at least in the initial period to help them establish an effective and sustainable safety and security oversight systems. We also believe that users of the African airspace should commit to support African States to enhance aviation safety and security in the continent. Simply stated, Africa needs assistance from all its friends and especially from the users of its airspace and airports to meet and overcome the challenges it faces in the area of aviation safety and security. But, most of all it needs assistance that would enable it to be self-sufficient and break the chain of dependency that persisted since independence was achieved in the fifties and early sixties. Any assistance that does not result in the establishment of effective and sustainable aviation safety and security system capable of continued effectiveness long after the donors have gone back home will do us more harm than favour and keep us dependents and beggars forever. The question is, how do we break this continuous culture of dependency and how do you help us to achieve it? Thank you Haile Belai Chief, AFI Comprehensive Implementation Programme Air Domain Safety and Security in Africa Aviation Safety and Security Challenges in Africa Montgomery, Alabama 31 Mar.-2 Apr. 2009 Haile Belai, C/ACIP/ICAO 5