The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Air Transport Association, to partner to improve aviation safety, it was announced on Tuesday. The MoU will allow the two sides to jointly establish a framework for the employment of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) to augment Rwanda’s safety oversight.
“Rwanda CAA is committed to improving African aviation safety,” affirmed its director-general, Silas Udahemuka. “Our partnership with IATA will help us to do that by taking greater advantage of IOSA in our safety oversight programme.”
“Safety is the top priority for everyone involved in aviation,” assured IATA regional VP: Africa and the Middle East Muhammad Albakri. “Congratulations to the Rwanda CAA for their decision to complement their safety oversight with IOSA.”
In the Abuja Declaration of 2015, African governments committed themselves to set up frameworks for the recognition of IOSA and to ensure all African airlines were IOSA registered by 2020. Zimbabwe was the first African country to implement this decision; when the MoU is implemented, Rwanda will become the second to do so.
“We look forward to working with the Government of Rwanda to turn the words of this MoU into actions that will further improve aviation safety,” added Albakri. “And we hope that our work together will be an inspiration to other African governments to take similar action in fulfilling their Abuja Declaration commitments.”
IOSA was created in 2003 to provide a global benchmark for operational safety management for airlines. Worldwide, there are now 440 airlines on the IOSA registry, of which 290 are IATA members (who have to maintain their registration).
IOSA airlines deliver much more safety than non-IOSA airlines. In 2017, IOSA airlines suffered 0.56 accidents per million flights, while the rate for non-IOSA airlines was 2.17 – nearly four times worse. The 34 African airlines which are IOSA-registered have a more than three times better safety record than non-IOSA African airlines.