A transcribed version of Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) AFRICA Chairman (also ATNS CEO) Thabani Mthiyane’s welcome speech at the Aviation Safety Management System Train-The-Trainer Seminar, currently underway in Maputo Mocambique. The vice minister of transport in Mocambique, Ms Manuela Robelo was in attendance. The seminar ends on 28 August 2015.

"May I take this opportunity to welcome you all to this important seminar. Our being here will help us to collectively improve our safety management skills by focusing on the benefits of safety risk management within the aviation industry.

"From today until Friday, we will look at some of the important and critical safety management-related issues that include among others, hazard identification and risk mitigation and safety assurance. We will also discuss safety policy best practices.

"It is very interesting to note that the evolution of the Standard-Safety concepts evolve over time. Therefore, ANSP best practises will change and shift. This standard will be updated periodically to reflect the continuous development of safety management.

"I trust and hope that we will gain much from FAA’s expertise and experience in their application of concepts and practices, as described in the CANSO Safety Management System (SMS) Standard of Excellence and the CANSO Safety Management System Implementation Guide. Learning is a life-long commitment to those who are change agents. I believe that everyone who is here will go back to their respective countries, armed with a wealth of information, ready to share.

"Aspects of safety in aviation training should neither be overemphasised or downplayed, but should be integrated in all learning processes and activities regardless of whether these take place in a simulated training environment or whether they happen as part of on-the-job training, or for that matter, in the daily execution of tasks.

"As correctly stated in the outline of the CANSO Standard of Excellence in SMS, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) play a vital role in the aviation industry. It is common knowledge within the industry that their core function is to minimise the risk of collision between aircrafts while providing efficient services. Safety in the aviation sector is critical. We have to be stringent and continuously improve our safety requirements, in line with international standards.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, An informed culture is a safety system that collates data from accidents and near misses and combines them with information from proactive measures such as safety audits and climate surveys. An informed culture allows people to understand the hazards and risks involved in their own operations. Staff members work continuously to identify and overcome threats to safety.

"It is a fact that the coming decades will present many challenges for aviation stakeholders. And that includes ANSPs. CANSO Standard of Excellence in SMS lists these as increased traffic demands, unmanned aircraft, and environmental and security considerations. It is proposed therein that we must solve these while maintaining (and even improving) the current levels of safety.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I trust that the next few days will provide us with insight and knowledge to advance our collective quest to make Africa’s airspace safe.

"I hereby declare the seminar open.

"I thank you"

In attendance:

  • Civil Aviation and Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) AFRICA Director, Ms Boni Dibate
  • Our colleagues from the USA FAA, Maggie Geraghty and Michael Virga
  • Chief of Air Traffic Services and Deputy Secretary General from Roberts FIR, Philip B. Trye and Badara A Tarawaley
  • Colleagues from Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and of course our hosts ADM-EP Aeroportos Mozambique.