Aviation regulators and airports in Africa have been advised to realistically assess challenges together and implement aviation-related safety and security actions and initiatives. The call was made at the just concluded  27th ACI Africa Annual General Assembly, Regional Conference and Exhibition by  Airports Council International (ACI) World Director General Angela Gittens.

This annual meeting, which took place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, addressed the theme “Challenges of Safety & Security in African Airports, Issues, and Perspectives”. The meeting brings together regional and global leaders from airports industry, government officials and regulators to discuss the current situation of African airports with regards to safety and security while exploring innovative solutions and addressing the upcoming challenges of aviation in the region.

While giving her address, Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World said, “We are undoubtedly at a very dynamic time and entering into a decisive period in the world,”. “Airports have become businesses in their own right and have to excel in a full range of activities. Yet, we are ever mindful that safety and security are our top priorities and we demonstrate that every day through our APEX missions, training, our work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and our guidance material.

“Aviation has the potential to grow significantly in this region in the years to come. We have to realistically assess our challenges together, and we have to go forward hand-in-hand because there is so much we can achieve.

“As the second-largest and second-most populous continent, boasting over 1.2 billion inhabitants, Africa is expected to become a vital participant in the global economy. In 2017, the continent was home to some of the fastest-growing economies on the planet and its growth rate has been trending upwards in recent months. African airports are encouraged to urgently adopt risk-based safety and security concepts, advanced technologies, and process innovation.

“I’m confident that in the spirit of collaboration that is vital in moving the African airport industry forward, this event will help us reflect on our achievements, our lessons learned, and the current issues and perspectives for the coming years.”

The Conference was also the regional occasion to lay the groundwork for the annual celebration within the African community of the Airport Safety Day.