Liberalisation of air space to improve quality of services-COMESA COMESA Director of Infrastructure and Logistics Dr Bernard Dzawanda, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority Director Flight Safety Services Musafiri Adolphe and SATSD programme Team Leader Dr Adikiny Olwenge.

Elita Chikwati Features Editor

COMESA member states have been urged to cooperate in the utilisation of airspace to ensure safe and efficient operations for the public and communities.

The members states are also urged to liberalise utilisation of airspace to reduce operational costs, improve the quality of air transport services and cut airfares.

This came out at an ongoing three-day training workshop on civil military co-operation for member/ partner states in the eastern Africa, southern Africa and the Indian ocean region in Kigali, Rwanda.

The training which started on Tuesday is being attended by representatives of member states, regional and international organisations and co-operating partners.

The workshop is aimed at enhancing the already agreed optimal solutions to strategic and pre-tactical issues and addressing challenges in the airspace management that cuts across civil and military operations to create a seamless airspace.

Officiating at the workshop, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority director general Silas Udahemuka said there was need to improve civil-military cooperation for the safe and optimal use of the airspace by both civil and military organisations.

“Airspace is a natural resource with a finite capacity for which demand from all users is constantly expanding.

“To best accommodate the needs of both civil and military stakeholders, states are encouraged to adopt the perspective that airspace is a strategic resource to be collectively managed in support of achieving national objectives.

“This resource is best managed through civil-military cooperation, which enables civil aviation to flourish and allow both civil and military aviation to operate safely and efficiently,” he said.

Mr Udahemuka said there had been increasing pressure on air transport market to meet civil aviation growing demand while on the other hand state aircraft had to observe their national/international security obligations which could not be compromised.

“We therefore need to co-operate in the use of the airspace to ensure safe and efficient operations for the public and our communities,” he said.

In a speech read on her behalf by director infrastructure and logistics Dr Bernard Dzawanda, Comesa secretary general Mrs Chileshe Kapwepwe said studies had shown that the liberalisation of air transport could yield substantial benefits.

“These benefits often lead to a surge in air traffic volume, facilitating tourism, trade, investment and growth in other sectors of the economy,” she said.

The liberalisation of the air transport market at the continental level is based on the Yamoussoukro decision (YD) and meant to create a single African air transport market.

“To realise the full economic benefits of the YD, there is need to improve air navigation efficiency in the entire airspace within the eastern Africa, southern Africa and the Indian ocean region and the entire continent of Africa.

“This can be achieved through civil military airspace co-operation among the key airspace stakeholders attending this workshop,” said Mrs Kapwepwe.

The workshop is also looking at areas of airspace organisation and management, civil military system interoperability, the impact of modernisation efforts of both civil and military equipment among others.

Experts are expected to come up with possible solutions to challenges in terms of sharing airspace for the benefit of the air transport industry being experienced by member states regionally.

The workshop also provides an opportunity for member states to network and build relationships instrumental in fostering co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration between agencies at national and regional level.

You Might Also Like