There is much work needed in order to bring the African air cargo market up to scratch and ensure that processes there throughout the supply chain can match those of their colleagues in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Strategic development in most parts of the African continent needs a lot of attention.
TIACA’s Vladimir Zubkov tries to pull the strings closer
At the second African Air Cargo Development meet in June, held in Addis Ababa, Mr Zubkov held discussions with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) officials along with Brussels Airport’s Head of Cargo, Steven Polmans and others, in order to try and set proper guidelines for the African air cargo community.
The idea was to get top regulators from the aviation industry acquainted with African air cargo representatives and to listen to their views on the pros & cons of the African air cargo scene and test the ways and means for TIACA and ICAO officials to set up a joint work-force with stakeholders in the region.
Quite a task, but one which it seems is getting off the ground.
Action Plan on the Development of the Air Cargo in Africa.
The above is what the participants came up with during their get together.
The Action Plan can be pulled up on TIACA’s website, but here are just a few of the issues agreed on and which are in the plan.
- An important issue tackled was that of infrastructure funding and financing in order to identify, secure and implement optimal funding solutions for the region.
- The “Airport Community” concept used at Brussels Airport was elaborated on by Steven Polmans and Piet Demunter in order to show the audience how a well-functioning framework goes a long way to enhancing cooperation between all players on the airport. ICAO members were impressed and a joint assessment is planned on the possibility of setting up consultancy and practical assistance for African airports.
- Security and Facilitation were high on the list. The World Customs Organization (WCO) and ICAO agreed to cooperate to align Regulated Agents’ and Authorized Economic Operators programmes to do away with duplication and give more support for all the airport.
- Market Access Liberalization was a theme which although in its early stages in Africa, is seen to be one of the most important issues to be solved if the African airports really want to be successful. The action plans points out that the African States have to fast implement action to liberalize market access, facilitate stronger liberalization of air cargo services and better market access including 7th freedom rights for air cargo carriers.
- And - last, but not least - Training. Here much work still needs to be done through seminars, symposiums and workshops to ensure that optimal training is given and constantly refreshed.
Vladimir Zubkov and his team are convinced that the Action Plan has a good foundation for starting up and enhancing the different projects. However, as with all plans - action has to be taken and
John Mc Donagh