The Sub-Saharan Africa commercial air industry last year recorded its best performance within the last decade, with zero passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses, latest data shows.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said this in its 2016 safety performance of the industry.
The industry already supports 6,8 million jobs and generates $72,5 billion of economic activity on the continent.
IATA represents some 265 airlines accounting for 83 percent of global air traffic.
The Association said as stakeholders work to address the issues on safety performance, it was also important that the industry dedicated resources to areas that data showed would have the biggest impact in reducing the risks of an accident.
Last year, some 3,8 billion travellers flew safely on 40,4 million flights around the world.
During the period under review, in the Sub-Saharan region the accident rate was 2,30 per one million departures, compared to 9,73 for the previous five years.
“Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016 but we must not rest on this success. Safety is earned every day and the lesson in Africa’s improvement is that global standards like the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) make a difference,” IATA director general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.
“African nations should maintain this strong momentum by making IOSA and the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (for those carriers that are not eligible for IOSA) a part of their airline certification process.”
De Juniac said regional governments also needed to accelerate implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS).
“As of year-end 2016, only 22 African countries had at least 60 percent SARPS implementation,” he said.
The 33 sub-Saharan airlines on the IOSA registry performed nearly twice as well as non-IOSA airlines in 2016 in terms of all accidents and performed 7.5 times better than non-IOSA operators in the 2012-2016 period. — New Ziana.