First CANSO Africa Region Safety Events Attract International Aviators

30 October 2012

The first CANSO Africa Region Safety events were officially opened yesterday by the CANSO Director General (Interim), Samantha Sharif, in the presence of the South African Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, in Cape Town, South Africa.

This six-day series of events – which has attracted more than three-hundred (300) global aviators - ends on Friday, 2nd November 2012. The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa is the proud event sponsor.

“As the global voice of air traffic management and the global partner in leading the improvement of air traffic management, safety and efficiency, CANSO is honoured to be leading the performance agenda with our members in the Africa region - focussing on the priorities for Africa of improving runway safety, safety management systems implementation and an effective safety culture” said Samantha Sharif, CANSO Interim Director General.

This is the first time ever – in the history of aviation in South Africa – that an event of this magnitude is taking place on African soil. CANSO is currently divided into four regions, namely Caribbean & Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The fifth region, CANSO Africa Region is officially being launched today.

In her keynote speech, Honourable Deputy Minister Chikunga said “Today is indeed another great day in the chapter and history of global aviation safety management. Some 30 years ago no one including us could predict that a gathering of this magnitude would transpire today in the city of Cape Town interrogating the much sensitive and desirable topic of air traffic management safety.

“There is a need to learn from accidents and incidents through safety “investigation” so as to take appropriate action to prevent the repetition of such events. In addition, it is important that even apparently minor occurrences are investigated, in order to prevent catalysts for major accidents. Safety analysis and ‘investigation’ is a necessary and effective means of improving safety, by learning the appropriate lessons from safety occurrences and adopting preventative actions. It is therefore important that an environment exists where occurrences are reported; the necessary processes are in place for investigation and for the development of necessary preventative actions such as re-training and improved supervision” said ATNS Board Chairperson, Captain Mpho Mamashela, during his opening address.

The first African CANSO/ICAO Regional Runway Safety Seminar started yesterday, 29th October 2012. This session brought together a multi-disciplinary approach to mitigating runway safety risk and is building on the first CANSO Africa Regional Safety Seminar held 28th October.

The CANSO annual Global ATM Safety Conference which brings together ANSP Safety Directors from around the world to exchange knowledge, information and best practices on aviation safety issues begins on Wednesday along with the first CANSO ATM Operations Seminar/Workshop.

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