Inadequate infrastructure, excessive government fees, legal barriers and skills shortages are the main factors holding back the growth of business aviation in Africa, according to a policy document published yesterday by the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA). The group intends to use this white paper, African Business Aviation Infrastructure Challenges, as the foundation for a concerted lobbying campaign to convince African governments to clear the way for business aviation to fulfill what they see as its huge potential to fill transportation gaps across the vast continent.
According to AfBAA, business aviation has the potential to play a particularly important part in Africa’s economic development, specifically because the continent has such meager transportation infrastructure, with limited scheduled airline service and almost nonexistent long-distance highways and rail lines. But, according to the white paper, it is being held back by safety and security; high fees for access to airspace and airports; underdeveloped aviation infrastructure; lack of skilled aviation personnel; tariffs and legal restrictions over the registration and operation of business aircraft in African countries; failure to comply with international standards; and insufficient understanding of the role of business aviation as a tool for economic growth.
AfBAA has begun to address these issues through meetings with African transportation ministries and civil aviation authorities. In part, this lobbying has been conducted via the African Union grouping of 54 states.