Nairobi. Kenya will next week host a meeting of African aviation players to discuss air navigation management, as the African union pushes for open skies.
The meeting, under the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (Canso), will bring together civil aviation heads from more than 30 African countries, who are part of the technical committee on the Open Skies negotiations.
The participants will be pushing for the harmonisation of the continent’s air navigation systems as part of the Open Skies initiative.
“We are hoping to have discussions around Africa’s goal of attaining a universally safe, technically interoperable, procedurally harmonised, efficient and affordable air transport system in Africa,” said Gilbert Kibe, director general of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
The meeting will be chaired by Mr Hamza Johari, the director general of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), who is the chair of Canso
The discussions are expected to feature Africa’s air traffic management safety, the influence of technology as an enabler, and efficiency and effectiveness on the continent.
The meeting will also discuss the integration of remotely piloted systems (RPAS), or drones, into current and evolving air traffic management systems, while ensuring the safety and efficiency of operations.
South Africa and Rwanda have successfully integrated drones within their air navigation systems.
“It will be a perfect learning opportunity for some of us, especially Kenya, which is struggling with regulation. We will hear from our peers in Kigali and Johannesburg on how they integrated the drones into their systems and their experiences so far,” Mr Kibe said.
Last week, Kenya announced that it would ban the use of drones until parliament ratifies regulations to guide their importation and use, a potential setback for the use of the remotely controlled aircraft for humanitarian, health and wildlife conservation.