African airlines prep for IOSA deadline

The International Air Transport Association has
announced that 25 of its 29 member airlines in sub-Saharan Africa are in
the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) process in preparation for the
2008 deadline when IOSA becomes a condition of IATA membership.IOSA is the first global standard for airline operational safety
auditing. It assesses airline operational management and control
systems, improves safety and reduces the overall number of audits
performed. IOSA standards are available free of charge to all airlines.

As at the end of September, 6 sub-Saharan IATA member airlines have been
audited, 8 have signed an audit agreement and 11 are in the process of
selecting or signing an official independent auditor. Of these, three
airlines - Comair Limited, Kenya Airways and South African Airways have
successfully completed audits and are on the IOSA registry. Globally 89%
of IATA’s 261 members have either been audited, contracted or are
preparing for one. Of these 121 are on the registry. Another 66
non-member airlines, including 4 from Africa, are also in the process.

“Safety improvement on this continent is critical and we are encouraged
that almost all of our member carriers are in the process,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, Director General & CEO of IATA.  “But Governments
must also do their part by investing in infrastructure that is sorely
lacking in many parts of the continent and by putting an end to flags of
convenience. Longstanding and reputable African airlines are having
their images tarnished by fly-by-night operators that have made Africa’s
safety record the worst in the world. A responsible industry cannot
tolerate even a few governments that don’t take safety seriously.”

Bisignani said IATA is committed to helping all African airlines meet
the IOSA deadline.

“IATA is investing US$3 million in its Partnership for Safety programme
to help carriers get ready for IOSA. At the same time we are encouraging
governments to incorporate IOSA into their safety oversight programmes.
Among African governments, already Madagascar and Egypt have moved
forward on this, and Nigeria is following suit,” said Bisignani.


Partnership for Safety was launched in 2005 to help airlines lacking
expertise, knowledge or resources necessary to adopt IOSA. So far in
Africa, 7 awareness seminars have been held with airlines and civil
aviation authorities to provide hands-on experience on IOSA and industry
best practices. Further 11 gap analyses have been conducted to show
airlines where to focus improvement efforts in preparation for their
audits. Another 15 are scheduled to be completed by year-end.