ATNSAir Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) South Africa is actively taking part in the Africa 2012 Aviation Safety Summit, currently underway at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The summit is being convened by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to adopt the required achievable strategies to strengthen safety oversight and enhance the regional safety performance by the end of year 2015.

According to the IATA, an analysis of 56 accidents involving African carriers over the last five years shows the main contributory factors, including weak regulatory oversight, improper certification of air operators, pilot qualification and training, and non-adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs). As a result, the two most prevalent air incidents and/or accidents are runway excursions and loss of control.

ATNS is a leading exponent of safer skies. This is evident in our mission statement, which is to provide safe, expeditious and efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM) solutions and associated services. One of ATNS’ strategic imperatives is to deliver continuous improvement of safety performance.

Commenting during the second day of the summit, ATNS CEO Mr Patrick Dlamini said: "Africa needs to invest more in aviation skills and knowledge. We are almost there though."

Mr Dlamini further mentioned that aviation, specifically aviation safety, is very critical in any economic activity and its role in the international markets cannot be downplayed.

Luke Hawkins, ATNS senior manager for safety and regulation assurance, has will work with the task force that will develop the African strategic safety improvement (SSI) action plan. The SSI plan is aimed at addressing the continent’s safety challenges and also significant safety improvement by the end of 2015.

Hein Reid, Senior Manager Operations, and Johnny Smit, Centre Manager at the ATNS Johannesburg Centre, will serve as panellists during the Runway Safety and Loss of Control discussion, taking place on 15th May 2012.

The discussion will look into the planning, training and the effective implementation measures of the runway safety toolkit, to ensure that all relevant personnel are adequately and properly trained to meet the set standards.

It is anticipated that over 200 participants will attend, including air navigation service providers (ANSPs), CEOs of African airlines, directors general of civil aviation authorities of African states and selected officials of key aviation stakeholders.