Angela Gittens, Airports Council International (ACI) World’s director general has called on aviation authorities and airports in Africa to realistically assess challenges together so that common aviation-related safety and security actions can be implemented.

Talking at ACI Africa’s Annual General Assembly, which is taking place this week in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and is themed around Challenges of Safety and Security in African Airports , she said:

As the second largest and second-most populous continent, boasting over 1.2 billion inhabitants, Africa is expected to become a vital participant in the global economy. In 2017, the continent was home to some of the fastest-growing economies on the planet and its growth rate has been trending upwards in recent months. African airports are encouraged to urgently adopt risk-based safety and security concepts, advance technologies, and process innovation.

Sessions covering how aviation continues to be highly exposed to a wide range of operational safety risks and an attractive target for terrorists, including the landside areas of airports, speakers including Gittens have urged the importance of addressing these threats. Underlining how effective and efficient measures are needed to tackle the issue, including the deployment of new screening technologies and safety management systems there is also pressure to ensure effective management practices and training.

Referencing how “airports have become businesses in their own right and have to excel in a full range of activities,” Gittens said aviation has the potential to grow significantly in Africa. “We have to realistically assess our challenges together, and we have to go forward hand-in-hand because there is so much we can achieve.”

Header image: George Airport, South Africa.

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