A program put in place to improve the oversight of aviation safety for African countries has completed many of its work goals one year ahead of target. The African Comprehensive Implementation Program (ACIP) was launched in 2007, and its four-year first phase has seen most of its goals reached by this year, according to ICAO’s secretary general Raymond Benjamin.
The ACIP program has three focus areas: the establishment of effective and maintainable safety oversight systems, assisting states in resolving deficiencies, and the advancement of aviation safety culture. ICAO has responded by increasing staffing levels at its African regional offices in Senegal and Kenya in an effort to assist in coordinating the plan.
Historically, expenditure on aviation infrastructure and safety oversight has been a low priority in Africa. Officials trained for inspector positions often leave for the lucrative private sector. The key to success has been the pooling of regional safety resources and expertise, as this lowers the national cost of implementation.
September’s ICAO assembly in Montreal will address the formal recognition and adoption of ACIP objectives through 2015.