African Airlines Association (AFRAA) joined key industry stakeholders at the 7th meeting of the Joint Prioritized Action Plan (JPAP) for operationalisation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

The meeting, which was organised by AFCAC, took place in Nairobi, Kenya on February 9, 2024, says a release from AFRAA.

AFRAA shared highlights on SAATM progress, and the 2024 plan of activities at the meeting:

*Capacity building


*Free Routing Airspace

*Advocacy and lobbying; and

*Roadmap action of the laboratory on sustainability of air transport industry

"Overall, SAATM represents a strategic initiative aimed at transforming the aviation landscape in Africa, fostering greater regional integration, and unlocking the economic potential associated with improved air connectivity."

After five years of the official launch of SAATM, there is still very little commitment by some of the 37 signatory states for the full liberalisation of the aviation market on the continent. Barriers that prevent the successful implementation of SAATM on the continent include lack of prioritisation of aviation by governments, policy of protectionism, high fees and taxes and failure to facilitate/opening visas between countries, the release added.

The purpose of JPAP is for aviation industry stakeholders to identify and align the activities to support SAATM, namely:

*Ensuring members of the SAATM fully implement the immediate measures to effectively operationalise SAATM as early as possible

*Elaborating and executing an effective advocacy and communication strategy for more states to join SAATM

*Resource mobilisation and strengthening of the capacity of the African Civil Aviation Commission to effectively perform its functions as the executing agency of the Yamoussoukro Decision

*Seeking technical assistance for member states to improve the level of aviation safety and security to meet the minimum requirements of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and attain the global average of effective implementation level; and

*Ensuring African airlines enhance their cooperation in the operation of SAATM.

The 7th JPAP meeting achieved the following objectives:

*Obtained the progress report of implementation of the 2023 SAATM Prioritised Joint Action Plan

*Reinforced commitment of stakeholders in supporting the development and sustainability of African civil aviation industry

*Updated 2024 SAATM prioritised joint action plan that is aligned with the recommendations of the SAATM-PIP airshows and the 2024 work plan; and

*Updated the adopted mechanism for monitoring, evaluation and reporting of JPAP.

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