IATA highlights safety as its top priority

Air safety is the biggest priority for International Air Transport Association, which is banning potential members unless they adhere to the six-point safety strategy of IATA?s Operational Safety Audit

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Air safety is the biggest priority for International Air Transport Association, which is banning potential members unless they adhere to the six-point safety strategy of IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

The IOSA six point plan is the first global standard for airline safety management audits and it will rationalise redundant auditing with a central database.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA CEO and director general presented Kuwait Airways Corporation chairman and managing director, Sheikh Talal Al Mubarak Al Sabah, with an IOSA certificate at the Arab Air Carrier’s Organisation (AACO) annual general meeting held last month in Kuwait, but he expressed disappointment and embarrassment that ten carriers in the region were not in the process of acquiring a certificate including four AACO members.

Bisignani said: “This is a concern for us because our job is not only to set targets but to help our members achieve them.

We have commitments from most of these to begin the process and we recognize that some will need some extra help for reasons ranging from security to lack of resources.”

He talked of a US$3 million Partnership for Safety programme that will help IATA members prepare for IOSA auditing with training and gap analysis.

AACO secretary general Abdul Wahab Teffaha said: “The 2008 deadline for IOSA auditing is realistic.

There are currently 12 other airlines being audited. IOSA is important in making sure that airlines are adhering to safety.”

Nasr Eldin M. Ahmed, managing director of Sudan Airways, said: “Over the last ten years the safety record has been bad and this has put Africa at the bottom of the list.

It’s going to be hard work to improve but by working with IATA, African airlines will be able to comply with minimum standards.

The government has taken a decision to privatise Sudan Airways.

This is going to be a challenge and it will at least restore our market share in Africa.”

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