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High-Level Aviation Meeting in Cotonou: Enhancing Air Navigation and Safety in Africa and the Indian Ocean Region

On Monday, November 6, 2023, The Minister of Environment and Transport, responsible for Sustainable Development of Benin, Mr. José TONATO, inaugurated in Cotonou, the “26th Regional Meeting of the Africa-Indian Ocean Regional Planning and Implementation Group (APIRG) and the 9th Regional Aviation Safety Group for Africa-Indian Ocean Region (RASG)” .

Organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the meeting follows the principle of rotation between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAF) and Western and Central Africa (WACAF) regions. These deliberations are attended by approximately 300 international civil aviation stakeholders from across Africa and the Indian Ocean region, converging at the Cotonou Congress Palace.

The 26th APIRG Meeting is set to assess the performance framework for air navigation planning and implementation in the region, reviewing the outcomes of contributing bodies, including progress in the implementation of the regional air navigation plan and other regional initiatives.

As for the RASG-AFI meeting, it will deliberate on civil aviation safety issues in the region, the status of implementing the objectives and targets of the Global Aviation Safety Plan, the progress of safety-related projects, and other relevant topics.

“These two meetings aim to plan the implementation of air navigation facilities, procedures, and equipment and to ensure optimal safety in the Africa and Indian Ocean region. We will take stock of what has been accomplished so far, address identified shortcomings, and project the future of civil aviation in the Africa-Indian Ocean region. We have hundreds of working papers that each state will review and propose changes to, with the goal of producing a clear action plan that will be submitted to ICAO. The ultimate objective is to make air transportation the safest mode of travel for our populations,” stated Mr. Karl LEGBA, Director-General of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC).

Recognizing the significance of aviation safety and navigation challenges, Minister José TONATO reaffirmed the commitment of President Patrice TALON’s government to this critical issue. He welcomed the convening of these meetings and expressed his hopes for the success of the proceedings, set to conclude on November 10, 2023. These high-level discussions mark a significant step towards enhancing aviation standards and safety in the African and Indian Ocean region.

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