ASECNA, ATNS pioneering an integrated African airspace

South Africa’s Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) and L’Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar (ASECNA) have met for the first time as part of a joint effort to achieve harmonised airspace management in Africa.

The two reviewed work by a joint technical committee that was set up soon-after a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in early 2018.

An ASECNA delegation attended the meeting which was held at Kempton Park, near OR Tambo International, led by its director general Mohamed Moussa.

The MoU provides for cooperation in air navigation services. It further formalizes the interconnectivity between ATNS SADC Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and NAFISAT networks managed by ATNS in Southern, Eastern and North Africa and ASECNA’s AFISNET (the ASECNA VSAT network in West Africa) networks). The MoU also makes provision for the exchange of training programmes and personnel, helping to share much-need expertise and experience.

“Here we are now – working hand-in-hand, towards safer African skies and an integrated airspace,” said interim ATNS chief executive Thomas Kgokolo. “As an air navigation service provider, we invest our resources wisely – in air safety, research and development to name but a few. We do that with due consideration, especially to other air navigation agencies in Africa and elsewhere. ASECNA is no exception. We are aware of the rapid technological advancements within the aviation industry. When we do acquire and deploy such technology, our counterparts in the region become our strategic and key partners”.

He further explained that ATNS follows efficient air navigation services practices as prescribed by global aviation bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO).

“This is an enormous milestone for African aviation. This is indeed the Africa we want,” said Mohamed Moussa, ASECNA director general, who is the first ever high-ranking ASECNA official to visit South Africa.

Africa's ATNS, ASECNA team on united airspace