IATA and ICAO rally behind safety plan for Africa

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IATA and ICAO have urged the African Ministerial Meeting on Aviation Safety - being held in Abuja, Nigeria this week - to endorse and adopt the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan.

The plan sets out a roadmap for boosting safety standards by "addressing deficiencies and strengthening regulatory oversight in the region progressively to 2015," says IATA.

It outlines several goals for the region, including the establishment of independent civil aviation authorities; IOSA accreditation for all African carriers; and implementation of flight data analysis (FDA) and safety management systems (SMS).

African states must also strive to improve the transparency of safety oversight systems, IATA says, as well as implementing accident prevention measures focused on runway safety and loss of control.

"For ICAO, states with significant safety concerns are a priority," says ICAO council president Roberto Kobeh González. "I cannot stress enough that they should be the priority of all stakeholders."

The region's leading regulatory bodies committed to the plan following the Africa Safety Summit in Johannesburg in May 2012. That conference drew from air accident investigation analyses - conducted by IATA and ICAO - which identified poor regulatory oversight and weak SMS implementation as the main safety concerns.