The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSPs) took a coordination conference on 14th June 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria in line to develop air navigation in the country.
This joint effort between the ECOWAS Commission and ANSPs was convened for the purpose of outlining an efficient strategy for promoting a safe and coordinated air navigation system in the region in compliance with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as implementing the African and Indian Ocean Satellite Network (AFISNET) Re-engineering and Modernization Project in a timely manner in order to sustain the development of the Aviation Industry in West Africa.
In his welcome remarks, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Infrastructure, Mr Pathe Gueye highlighted the key challenges of the air navigation sector in the region which includes lack of reliable and affordable links between the Member States, high tariff and operating costs and weakness in international competition. Hence he stressed the need for security and safety, adequate technical assistance and effective management of the sector to mitigate these challenges.
Also lamenting the challenges being encountered in the aviation sector within the region, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda Koroma emphasized the need to change track by adopting an approach to improve viability, competitiveness and the safety and quality of the ECOWAS ANSPs.
Vice President furthermore pointed out that the successful development of air transport in West Africa will enable the Member States to fast track socio-economic development. “Indeed, aviation should be a catalyst of socio-economic development and integration in the ECOWAS region” she stated.
Addressing the ECOWAS Commission’s Management, the Director General of Agency for the Security of Aerial Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), Mr Mohamed Moussa expressed his optimism in the collaboration between the Commission and ANSPs to implement the Global Plan for Communication Navigation System/Air Traffic Control (CNS/ATM).
The provision of safe, reliable and accurate integrated air navigation services is essential to ensure the smooth take-off and landing controls of aircraft and is essential to the growth of air transportation in the ECOWAS region.