Seamless airspace plan for 19 African states

Eastern and southern African states have passed new legislation to establish seamless upper airspace.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which met in May to launch the initiative is a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland.

The regional airspace agreement aims at achieving a seamless upper airspace for the region which will lead to enhanced competition in air travel and efficiency. This is in addition to reducing costs of regional air travel and providing value for money in air services.
Zambia Minister of Justice, Hon. Given Lubinda, who opened the May meeting said the high cost of doing business in the COMESA region was largely due to transport costs. He said the COMESA seamless airspace programme will contribute to bringing down those high costs.
“I am glad that, apart from considering draft legal instruments that will strengthen governance, we are beginning to move to instruments that will help us tap into trade in services,” he said. “The draft legal instruments aimed at the implementation of the COMESA Seamless Airspace programme speak to this.”
During a recent one-day meeting, ministers from member states also adopted an agreement for accession of Somalia to the COMESA Treaty in readiness for the country’s admission to the regional bloc at its next summit later this year. This follows successful conclusion of negotiations between Somalia and the COMESA Bureau of the Council of Ministers that took place in Lusaka.
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