Eight months after its formation, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) has published its inaugural white paper, which examines the range of barriers facing business aviation on the vast continent. The document also sets out a series of recommendations on how to support and accelerate business aviation infrastructure development and economic growth across the region, which boasts an installed base of about 1,300 business aircraft.
"The white paper marks a significant milestone for AfBAA," says Tarek Ragheb, chairman of the fledgling association that was set up to raise awareness of business aviation among African governments, their respective civil aviation authorities, companies and entrepreneurs throughout Africa.
"It is ground-breaking in that we now have a single document outlining the essential areas we need to focus on," he continues.
The paper has identified a number of issues that are negatively affecting the development of business aviation throughout the continent. These include poor infrastructure, security and safety concerns, high fees to access airspace and airports, a shortage of skilled employees such as pilots and engineers, insufficient training, taxation and a general misconception across the continent about how business aviation can support economic development.
"We plan to address these issues through a multiyear effort," says AfBAA, whose founding members include Embraer and Gulfstream. "That will include dialogue with transport ministries of African governments, participation at national and international aviation air shows and meetings, lobbying of appropriate bodies for refined regulatory statutes and advocating the benefits of business aviation to governments, relevant associations and the business community," it continues.