The 2nd Extraordinary Session of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, and Energy (STC-TTIIE) which convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently made crucial decisions regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis,  and also approved the Common African Position Paper on Energy Access and Just Transition in Africa to be presented at COP27 in November 2022, while it also approved the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) Dispute Settlement Mechanism, the policy guidelines for negotiation of air service agreements between African countries and other countries and regions, and the revised African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP).

As noted by Dr. Amani Abou-Zyed, the Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission (AUC), and, without doubt, Africa has the potential to improve fuel and energy production and supply to mitigate the impact of global fuel crises on the continent, given the huge impact of fuel crises on the air transport sector, and Africa’s economy. Regarding the SAATM, the revision and approval of the African Civil Aviation Policy and Dispute Settlement Mechanism are expected to accelerate the benefits of SAATM and liberalization of air transport on the continent, as emphasized by the AUC and well-meaning industry leaders.

However, high-level advocacy is now required to ensure better understanding and acceptance of the AFCAP and Dispute Resolution Mechanism as approved by the AU. This is vital for the 35 States that have signed the SAATM, which would also encourage other States to join in and drive the benefits of liberalization. Moreover, Air Services Agreements on the continent must equally align with the concept of SAATM and AFCAP which uphold liberalization of air transport market for African airlines.

With the AU providing strong leadership, Africa must renew its approach to air transport and economic development, engaging Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other stakeholders to fast-track implementation of SAATM and liberalized market access at the regional level. Moreover, we expect the on-going engagement of the new Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), Adefunke Adeyemi, with key industry institutions and operators to accelerate this process.

Furthermore, we commend the enthusiasm of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) led by Mr. Abderahmane Berthe, AFRAA Secretary General, who visited AFRAA member Airlines in Nigeria recently to promote cooperation and improved operating environment for African airlines. We equally applaud the Federal Government of Nigeria for releasing part of the blocked airlines funds, as we urge States with blocked funds to address this challenge. We also note the recent announcement of Ethiopian Airlines by the Nigerian Government as the preferred partner for the upcoming national airline, Nigeria Air; and we encourage improved cooperation among African carriers to enhance interconnectivity in Africa.

While the continent and African airlines strive towards improved market access and operating environment in Africa, we note with dismay the recent strike action by Air Traffic Controllers under ASECNA. We urge for understanding and dialogue to resolve the issues.

As the 41st ICAO Triennial Assembly begins in Montreal, Canada, September 27-October 7, we wish African delegation success. We also bring you updates from the ICAO Assembly.

This edition focuses on Business and General Aviation, with exciting features including the increasing role of business aviation in an industry facing crises and insights on cost-saving aircraft engine maintenance. You will also read our pre-conference analysis for the Airports Council International Africa World Annual General Assembly holding in Marrakech in October 2022, as well as our special focus on the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria (AIB-N) led by Engr. Akin Olateru, which is leading capacity building for accident investigation in Africa.

Thank you.


Capt. Edward Boyo