The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) an African agenda 2063-flagship project to be launched alongside the summit is expected to stimulate massive air traffic growth. It is time to start planning the requested aviation infrastructure under the PIDA-PAP framework.

This was said by Mr. David Kajange, Head of Transport and Tourism Division at the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission at the ongoing PIDA week commemoration in Swakopmund Namibia.

Addressing the delegates, Mr. Kajange noted “it is imperative that we start planning the aviation infrastructure needs to meet the new aviation growth under the PIDA framework for phase 2 – PIDA 2020-2030”.

Referring to the Abuja Declaration and framework Plan of Action for aviation infrastructure development in Africa, Barry Kashambo: International Civil Aviation Organisation- East Africa Regional Director noted that it was adopted during a high-level session at the third international civil aviation authority world aviation forum in Abuja.

Mr. Kashambo highlighted the importance of the framework action plans and the need for NEPAD to convene a meeting of the various stakeholders to establish an implementation plan with timelines. The

David Nyusenga implored on African countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization, foster innovation and reflect priorities of the aviation sector in their economic development planning.

Dr. Kamugisha Kazaura, Director infrastructure of the East African Community (EAC) described the EAC Upper Airspace project.

Within the Tripartite Region (EAC, COMESA and SADC) the Member States have agreed to collaborate in the implementation of programs which will result in a harmonized and seamless Communications, Navigational, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management systems across the Tripartite. The approach adopted by EAC is recommended for other RECs to emulate with the ultimate goal to have a Seamless Upper Airspace for the Continent in line with the implementation of ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrade (ICAO ASBU).

Declaring the need to implement aviation infrastructure projects, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Agency said “it is necessary to urgently start with the development of a continental, regional and national aviation infrastructure master plan as well as a strategic plan on capacity building for the aviation industry”.

The Experts recommended the need to include the development of Regional aviation infrastructure into the Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative (PICI) and create an interinstitutional taskforce to guide the development of Regional aviation infrastructure with PIDA-PAP 2

Earlier on, during the opening session of the PIDA week commemoration, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD agency, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki noted that eighty percent of airlines that service Africa are non African, which he labeled as an alarm to put Africa’s aviation house in order.

The PIDA week commemoration, which ends on Thursday is held under the theme regional infrastructure development for job creation and economic transformation.

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