The African continent continues to lag behind despite visible efforts being made at all levels from different spheres of the aviation industry to support the air transport industry on the continent.
The current state of safety, security and airport operations in Africa is unfortunately still of particular concern and will become even more critical with the forecasted increase in air traffic, the growing complexity of airport operations, the increasing sensitivity to security issues from the public and travellers, the pressure on airport infrastructure, changing technology, and the search for profitability and improved performance from private airport operators.
On the other hand, the African Union Commission has launched in January 2018 the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which aims to create a single unified African market for air transport, to liberalize civil aviation and to boost economic integration. An important prerequisite to a unified and standardized air travel on the African continent is the confidence and guarantee for safe, secure and reliable airport operations as well as efficient and passenger friendly services.
Despite its notable contribution, ACI’s APEX review has its limitations and cannot unfortunately cope with the large number of airports that currently do not meet industry standards and recommendations in Africa.
This is why ACI Africa has considered it wise and appropriate to adopt a more pragmatic, proactive and supportive approach by responding precisely to the needs of African airports in terms of tailor-made and fully adapted training programs and assistance missions with the decision to set up the ‘African Airports Development Program’ (AADP) in October 2017.
ACI Africa firmly believes that the destiny of African airports first and foremost lies in the hands of Africans. This is why ACI Africa strives to promote the local African expertise to support the air transport industry in Africa through the AADP.
AADP is now the new lead program of ACI Africa and is the gateway for African airports to confidently achieve excellence in management, operation and capacity building through the sharing of experience and expertise on the African continent.
The objectives of the program are as follows:
- To strengthen the human resources competencies of its members through the development of African expertise in the airport fields.
- To identify and review the needs of member airports for trainings, short term technical expertise missions and extended technical support missions.
- To offer technical assistance and support services tailored to the specific needs of its members.
- To provide classroom or online courses, individual or for groups from the ACI portfolio.
- To develop specific courses tailored to the needs of African airports.
- To provide scholarships to attend training courses provided by ACI.
- To provide consultancy missions to identify and help resolve challenges related to airport design, operations and management.
- To develop a database of African trainers and experts.
The AADP is primarily funded from the limited financial means of ACI Africa and the yearly amount earmarked is largely based on the annual financial performance of ACI Africa and donations. Under the program, ACI Africa caters for the services of the trainer or expert while the beneficiary airport provides for the airfares and hotel accommodation of the resource person(s).
AADP mainly aims at assisting needy member airports in Africa on a priority basis. However, in a spirit of fairness and equity, ACI Africa sees to it that a maximum number of individual airports benefit from the program on a yearly basis.
ACI Africa has the authority for the allocation of funds under the AADP and for the approval of the requests for training and technical assistance and support from member airports.