Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in the African and Indian Ocean (AFI) Region have been charged to embrace and implement the formation of peer groups for the periodic review of their Safety Management Systems (SMS) implementation levels.

The Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, gave the charge on Monday at the opening of a two-day peer review meeting of the AFI ANSP Peer Review Team 3 in Lagos.

He said this was in line with resolutions passed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council on April 4, 2015 in Montreal, Canada.

Akinkuotu said only an effective peer review of safety systems and procedures among ANSPs in the region could enable Africa to build upon its rising safety profile and the make the continent more competitive in the global aviation industry.

The NAMA boss, who was represented by the Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, Mr Farouk Umar, said the time had come for African ANSPs to harmonise and synergise their safety systems and procedures.

He added that this could be done by bringing members up to speed with industry best practices with the ultimate goal of achieving a single African sky.

Akinkuotu assured them that “NAMA as a state ANSP shared the same concerns with ICAO and its allies, including the Civil Air Navigation Service Organisation (CANSO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to him, NAMA is also committed to ensuring that the envisaged benefits of the peer review programme are fully actualised.

He called on members to feel free to criticise the agency’s SMS implementation strengths and weaknesses as this exercise would serve as a learning curve in its quest to step up its SMS effective implementation level.

Earlier in her remarks, the Director of African Affairs, CANSO, Ms Boni Dibante, noted that the objective of the peer review mechanism was to address some of the challenges ANSPs in the AFI region were facing.

She said, “effective implementation will enable us to standardise our SMS and all the other areas of operations which have been identified by ICAO.

Dibante also enjoined members to adhere strictly to the CANSO SMS Implementation Guide and the Safety Maturity Survey.

According to her, these self-assessing documents will not only assist members in attaining a high level of safety management systems but also ensure that ANSPs meet their requirements and satisfy their regulators whenever they come for audit.

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