Good morning. I am pleased to be here among over 500 aviation professionals and I would like to express gratitude to Airports of Mauritius, for hosting and our sponsors and exhibitors for contributing to this important event. It is only with such platforms, that we can adequately exchange knowledge and together—as ACI’s Chair elaborated on—chart a roadmap for a safer and more secure aviation industry: Collaboration is truly key.
|Engr. Saleh Dunoma, MD FAAN|
We all heard the good news: air traffic demand in the region for 2017 is looking up. A young population, growing labour force, accelerating adoption of new technology and urbanization are all factors that favour future economic growth, and subsequently aviation development, across Africa.
However we are also aware that Africa is a region that faces many challenges including political strife, security and safety concerns, lack of volume, protectionism, currency complications and sluggish growth in income levels in some key markets. Change is no stranger to the region’s outlook and state of the industry, and for this reason there could be no better place to explore this year’s theme of “Bold leadership in a time of change.”
Over the course of today and , you will learn of several existing and new ACI initiatives, products and services that help the region’s airports tackle such challenges and seize such opportunities.
You will hear of the progress that the Airport Excellence (APEX) programme has brought to the Region—helping many African airport improve the application of ICAO standards and recommendation practices, and international best practices. Out of the 14 APEX reviews that are scheduled for 2017, half of those were or will be in Africa.
And, since the beginning of our partnership with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the number of Safety reviews in Africa continues to grow. The Safety Assessors Training programme, an initiative that helps build expertise in the region, successfully achieved phase one, where 20 new assessors are now part of the APEX pool of experts. In fact the first all African review team conducted an assessment in Bangui this July and we should expect many more to come.
And, you will learn of ACI Africa’s new development programme for the region’s airports. The new initiative is designed to help and assist member airports to improve and respond to different challenges, including those posed by security operations, and achieve professional excellence in the application of international standards and best practices. Funding isn’t the only aspect of the development programme, it also includes training, technical assistance, and capacity building and expertise development through access to ACI’s training and review products and services.
Towards this goal, I’d like to quickly mention that at the closing ceremony, ACI Africa will be giving away scholarships to two ACI Africa Members and I invite all delegates to witness and celebrate this draw with us.
This is only the tip of the iceberg and much more will be covered. The point is clear: the changes we face underline the need for our continued engagement in global and regional initiatives, alongside continued collaboration with aviation stakeholders and ACI is there to support our airport Members every step of the way.
Thank you and have a productive and enjoyable conference here in Africa, I warmly welcome each and every one of you to our home