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This IATA-African Union initiative could save lots of lives and bring Africa into a modern aviation environment.

IATA CEO Tony Tyler wants to see airlines in Africa, the most aviation-safety-challenged region of the world, avoid the fate of Dana Air flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 that crashed in June in Lagos, Nigeria, killing all 153 passengers and crew on board, and about 10 people on the ground.

While the cause of the crash is reportedly still under investigation, and Tyler didn’t reference the Dana Air flight specifically, he did state “it is no secret that the biggest [aviation safety] gap is in Africa.”

In 2012, Africa recorded 3.71 accidents on Western-built jets per one million flights compared with just 0.20 around the world.

Africa’s 2012 numbers were even worse than the continent notched in 2011.

The African Union recently endorsed a strategic plan geared to have the continent achieve world-class safety marks by 2015.

“It won’t be easy,” Tyler told the 68th Annual Conference of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations in Dublin, Ireland, April 12. “But we know that world-class safety is possible in Africa. African airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit registry, for example, had no accidents with Western-built jet aircraft in 2012.


“And even if we look at all aircraft types, the performance of IOSA-registered African airlines was in line with the global average. That is why one of the key elements of the plan centers on IOSA — making it mandatory for airlines registered in the African Union by 2015.”


The IOSA registry calls for compliance with some 900 safety standards, and IATA has introduced the Enhanced IOSA, which includes self-auditing mechanisms.

Here’s the text of Tyler’s speech, which also covers issues, including aviation security, financial performance, and the environment:

Download (PDF, 88KB)



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Tags: iata, safety

Photo credit: The wreckage of a Dana Air MD-83 plane burns in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, June 3, 2012.

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