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05-05-2017

The Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organisation (JAA TO), the leading non-profit aviation training organisation providing top-level training courses in multiple fields of aviation safety, and AviAssist, Africa’s only independent and also non-profit organisation dedicated solely to the safety improvements in African aviation, have announced a partnership to further expand the AviAssist Safety Promotion Centre (ASPC) in Rwanda.

The partnership aims to establish a long-term mutually beneficial association in capacity building on aviation skills as well as business and leadership skills at the foreseen ASPC in Rwanda.

The ASPC-Rwanda is geared to become (East) Africa's leading aviation safety resource centre, making Rwanda and States in the East and Southern African ICAO region more self-sufficient at safety promotion. The centre imparts training and safety training that is crucial to support aviation experts in their role as safety leaders and champions.

Paula V. de Almeida, Director of JAA TO: “We are very pleased to launch this cooperation. JAA TO is committed to promoting the aviation safety around the world and this partnership helps us to achieve this goal in the high-growth African Region. The vision of ASPC is perfectly in line with JAA TO’s mission and vision to increase the safety in the region and globally.”

“We are thrilled to be able to bring the expertise, reputation and legacy of the JAA TO to our work in Africa”, says Tom Kok, Director of AviAssist. “It is an unique opportunity to combine our safety promotion experience in Africa with the rich training capabilities of the JAA TO. This partnership will bring great benefits for the continuous professional development that the Foundation brings to Africa.”

The signing was witnessed by Rwandair’s Hellen Ndichu, Board Member of the AviAssist Foundation. RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines in Africa and is a co-founding partner of the ASPC-Rwanda.
From left to right: Tom Kok, Director of AviAssist; Paula V. de Almeida, Director of JAA TO; Hellen Ndichu, Board Member of AviAssist
For a PDF version of the press release - click here
Contact the Foundation for a high resolution version of the above picture.


11-10-2015

AVIASSIST NOMINATED FOR PRESTIGIOUS CANSO SAFETY AWARD

Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, 10 November, 2015

The AviAssist Foundation announced today that it has been nominated for the prestigious Global Safety Award of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO). CANSO is the global voice of the companies that provide air traffic control. It represents the interests of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) worldwide. CANSO members are responsible for supporting over 85% of world air traffic.

The CANSO nomination came in recognition of the Foundation’s efforts to make best practices available to African safety professionals and encourage African ANSPs to make safety a priority in their organisation. The Foundation offers safety promotion solutions where commercially available solutions are not financially feasible yet. It steps away once those solutions do become commercially feasible.

“We are truly honoured to have been shortlisted for the prestigious CANSO Global Safety Award,” Founder Tom Kok said. The award is all about the hard work we’ve been putting in over the last eight years and all about the professionals we connect in Africa and beyond from across the industry. It shows me that we’re on track.”

The CANSO Global Safety Award is given annually by the Safety Standing Committee (SSC) of CANSO for individual(s) and team(s) who have made a significant contribution to the safety activities of their countries and organizations. The award is maintained as a tradition in order to encourage its members to enhance their safety in the air traffic management performance.

“We’re in a careful growth phase now as there’s big potential for what we do,” Kok elaborated. ““Watch this space because we’ve got some exciting plans, also in the area of ATC.”

“I believe a large part of the Foundation’s success is that we deploy dedicated and practising professional volunteers who are direct colleagues of their African counterparts. They’re amazing people”, Kok continued. “It is all about the team and our partners.The only way we have been able to carefully grow the Foundation is by deploying amazing people. We just let them go and do their stuff. On top of that we also have very loyal partners such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kenya Airways and Emirates”.



04-02-2015

FRIENDS OF AVIASSIST TEAM UP FOR SAFETY                        

Hoofddorp, 2 April 2015

AviAssist is pleased to announce the launch of the Friends of the AviAssist Foundation: a charitable network for the good of the aviation safety in Africa. Friends of AviAssist will support the work of the AviAssist Foundation in promoting professionalism in African aviation safety.

“It is easy to forget that thousands of professionals in Africa work hard every day at making commercial aviation the safest form of transportation, also in Africa. They do so not because they expect special recognition. They think safety and act in ways that promote safety because they know the aviation industry and their economy depend on that and because it is the right thing to do” explained Hans de Jong, chairman of the Friends board.

“Friends of AviAssist will support AviAssist by recruiting professional volunteers from the Netherlands and beyond to work alongside their African colleagues in promoting aviation safety as resources and trainers. On top of that, Friends of AviAssist will make grants to the AviAssist programs from the membership fees and grants” De Jong elaborated.

"The Friends membership fee of €50 for individuals is a relatively small amount for individuals and offers a great return in terms of benefits such as a subscription to our full colour quarterly SafetyFocus magazine and networking opportunities at our annual conference”.

Individual and business members will be invited to events that will also offer the opportunity to Dutch and European companies to better prepare for venturing into the growing African market. The new organization was also established to strengthen the Foundation’s presence in the Netherlands and Europe and to help change the perception of African aviation throughout the world.

Friends of AviAssist will host its first conference at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences on the afternoon of Wednesday June 24th, with an interesting line up of speakers and a presentation on the valuable work of the AviAssist Foundation. For more information about the conference and registration, click here.

“The Friends of AviAssist offers aviation enthusiasts and professionals a wonderful opportunity to connect to African aviation and demonstrate their support and solidarity. We are obviously very pleased with this initiative,” AviAssist Foundation Director Tom Kok commented.

For more information on the Friends of AviAssist click here

From left to right: inaugural Friends of AviAssist board members Marily Heyster, Hans de Jong & Henk de Groot



12-18-2014

AIRPORT TRAUMA CARE AFRICA TO BE IMPROVED

 Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, 18 December, 2014 — 

In the aftermath of an aircraft accident, many lives may be lost and many injuries aggravated if immediate medical attention is not provided by trained rescue personnel.

AviAssist announced today that it has entered into a five year corporate social responsibility agreement with UMCG Ambulance Services from the Netherlands for the delivery of a new course, the Airport Trauma Care Course (ATCC).

The ATCC will be a three-day course with the aim to teach a simple systematic approach to the management of trauma patients through interactive tutorials, skills teaching and simulated patient management scenarios.

"We are very grateful for the partnership with UMCG Ambulance Services for this course, which ensures that we work with experts that share this operational responsibility on a daily basis with their colleagues in Africa,” stated AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “We are open for requests from the East and Southern African region to host our courses in 2015 & 2016."

An Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is the backbone of an orderly and efficient transition from normal to emergency operations. Its production and regular exercise exposes pain points that could aggravate a response in a real emergency.

The ERP is also a crucial part of an airport's Safety Management System, a basis of standards from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). In turn, medical services and the way an airport deals with the injured are a vital component of the ERP


"A critical component in all this is the quality of care received from first responders and medical personnel. However, access to emergency medical training in Africa is a challenge. With this course, the AviAssist Foundation helps to address a shortage of trauma care training opportunities in the region," Foundation Director Kok, explaining the Foundation's choice for embedding this course into the Foundation's program.The course takes its inspiration from the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course".


The ATLS course is a training program for medical providers in the management of acute trauma cases, developed by the American College of Surgeons. Originally designed for emergency situations where only one doctor and one nurse are present, ATLS is now widely accepted as the standard of care for initial assessment and treatment in trauma centres. It teaches a simplified and standardized approach to trauma patients. The premise of the ATLS program is to treat the greatest threat to life first. Survivors should be classified to determine the order of priority for treatment and transportation.

A short video clip of the course can be found on the Foundation’s Youtube channel www.youtube.com/aviassistfoundation

Pictures of the course can be found on the Foundation’s Flickr picture site by clicking here

To download this press release as a Adobe Acrobat .PDF document, click here



09-27-2013

Kigali Airport Fire Fighter training completed

The AviAssist Foundation continues its support to the promotion of professional excellence in African aviation safety.

“Over the past week, Kigali International Airport’s fire fighters were trained in industry best practices” reports AviAssist Director Tom Kok from Rwanda. ”In partnership with the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority and Groningen Airport Eelde from the Netherlands, the Foundation delivered its annual Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting ARFF training course in Rwanda. As always, our annual training is jam packed with practical sessions and live fire”.

“The International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO has highlighted that, while many airport authorities are allocating resources for the procurement of fire fighting trucks, many were not allocating the required resources for the adequate training of the personnel. The same applies sometimes for the procurement of rescue tools and protective materials (helmets, boots, suits etc). We agree with ICAO’s position that, in addition to causing the ARFF facility to be very inefficient or even plainly ineffective, the morale of personnel is negatively affected. That is not something you can afford as an airport operator in relation to that crucial safety service” Kok explained.

“As part of our long term commitment to the region, we will continue our support to the professionals that attended the course through our social media channels which have an increasing membership among all levels of aviation organisations in Africa. We also do that with free subscriptions to our quarterly safety magazine SafetyFocus” Kok said.

“We are already in discussions with a number of airport operators in our region about hosting next editions of our training but are still open to invitations from the sub-region” Kok concluded.

Funding for the training was provided by the Rwanda CAA, Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. AviAssist partner Kenya Airways provided all tickets as in kind support. The support by the Foundation’s airline partners also demonstrates that the AviAssist addresses priorities identified or recognised by the aviation industry.

Pictures of the course can be found on the Foundation’s Flickr Channel at http://www.flickr.com/photos/14489279@N02/

To download the full press release as a Adobe PDF document, click here.



10-29-2012
African Aviator Award 2012 winner

Recognising Safety Excellence in African Aviation

Cape Town, South Africa, 29th October, 2012

Today the AviAssist Foundation proudly celebrated air transportation safety inAfrica by announcing the winner of the 2012 African Aviator Award. This year, the AviAssist Foundation selected the Air Traffic Management/Control as the profession for the award, in co-operation with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation CANSO.

Every day, thousands of professionals in Africa contribute to making commercial aviation the safest form of transportation. They do so not because they expect special recognition. They think safety and act in ways that promote safety because they know the aviation industry depends on it, and because it is the right thing to do. However, aggregate data for the entire continent masks the gains from their professionalism and the role of safety champions among them.The AviAssist Foundation pays tribute to them through its work. The African Aviator Award is presented annually for an exceptional dedication to African aviation safety over an extended period of time.

“Despite regular press reports on accidents, air transport is one of the safest modes of transport, also in Africa" says AviAssist director Tom Kok. “Working together with our partners is essential to ensure that we continue to improve safety in the years ahead. This year’s recipient Daniel Wanjala is a worthy recipient of this award. As an air traffic management inspector with the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, he has had great success in building better understanding between professionals in the aviation industry. One of his key achievements was building a flight deck familiarization program for air traffic controllers,” stated Kok. “Professionals like Wanjala are enabling us to raise the bar for aviation safety and I’m very pleased to be able to present it to him today,” Kok continued.

“Throughout his career, Daniel Wanjala has worked to promote regional co-operation and co-operation with neighbouring states. Troubled neighboring Sudan has benefited from his efforts to improve co-ordination between the two countries. As former president of the Uganda Air Traffic Controllers’ Association, Daniel has introduced the global air traffic controller association IFATCA to the East African Community’s regional safety oversight organization CASSOA. As such, Daniel’s work complements the efforts of the Foundation to boost regional co-operation as one of the solutions to safety oversight challenges in the African region” elaborated Kok.

The award was presented to Mr. Wanjala today atthe CANSO Global ATM Safety conference galadinner in Cape Town, hosted by South Africa’s Air Traffic Control organisation ATNS and sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

To download the full press release in PDF, click here


01-20-2012

African Aviator Award - Call for nominations 

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 20th January, 2012

Every day, thousands of professionals in Africa contribute to making commercial aviation the safest form of transportation. They do so not because they expect special recognition. They think safety and act in ways that promote safety because they know the aviation industry depends on it, and because it is the right thing to do.

However, aggregate data for the entire continent masks the gains from their professionalism and the role of safety champions among them.The AviAssist Foundation cannot salute all these men and women individually, although it pays tribute to them through its work.

“From 2012 onwards, the AviAssist Foundation will single out individuals or teams that have made especially outstanding contributions to risk reduction, often during long periods or entire careers and award the African Aviator Awardexplained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”Each year, the AviAssist Foundation will select a particular aviation profession as the focus for the award. For 2012, the selected profession for the award is Air Traffic Management/Control in its widest sense, with the award being offered in co-operation with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation CANSO.”

The African Aviator Award aims to reward safety champions and promote entry of Africans in the aviation industry. The prestigious award will include a trip to the awarding event, US$500 in cash and a hand-lettered citation. The recipient of this prestigious international award is selected by an independent selection board from among candidates nominated by aviation professionals and organizations worldwide.

”The winner of the 2012 award will be selected from the nominations. Deadline for nominations for the African Aviator award is September 1, 2012. The award will be presented during an award dinnerand awards ceremonyat the 2012 CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference in Cape Town, South Africa on October 29– November 2, in front of an audience of industry leaders and colleagues” Kok said.

The 2012 award is instituted by the AviAssist Foundation in co-operation with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation CANSO with sponsoring from among others CANSO, ATNS South Africa and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Please submit a nomination for this important award. If you would like to learn more about the award as well as the nomination deadline and download a nomination form, please click on this link.

To download the full press release in .PDF, click here.



01-16-2012

CHRISTMAS DONATION FOR AVIASSIST FROM GRONINGEN AIRPORT EELDE

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 16th January, 2012

The AviAssist Foundation has received a Christmas card donation from Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. As an alternative to the traditional Christmas cards to its business relations, Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) each year selects a good cause to donate the equivalent amount of money to. Its business relations receive their wishes by e-mail. This year, the AviAssist Foundation was selected from among a shortlist of good causes. AviAssist Director Kok received the funds in a small ceremony at GAE.

"Having worked with the AviAssist Foundation on various occassions now, the majority of our staff were inspired by the work done by the Foundation in our industry" GAE airport manager Onno de Jong explained.

"For the Foundation, it's a wonderful piece of recognition of its work from colleagues in the industry," explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. "We are very grateful to Groningen Airport Eelde for their donation. To the outside world, it may seem as a small donation but with the Foundation’s cost structure and organisational set up, the donation will go a long way. The donation will be used to produce a leaflet on the hazards of wildlife around airports for the people living around African airports. The leaflet will be made with the assistance of Ugandan wildlife expert Gloria Kirabo and a comic book designer. By setting the leaflet in local languages and deploying the tool in 40 African countries together with the magazine, the Foundation will assist airport operators in the region with sensitising communities around airports. As such it will support our airport wildlife management program towards East and Southern Africa”.

For the full press release in English, click here.

For the full press release in Dutch, click here.



11-10-2011

AviAssist speaks on constructive battle on criminalisation   

AviAssist urges African aviation industry to fight constructive battle on criminalisation

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 10th November, 2011 —

At the invitation of the Africa Aviation Safety Council AFRASCO, the AviAssist Foundation urged the AFRASCO members to seek understanding of national prosecution departments of the aviation industry’s traditional learning curve that starts from accidents. AFRASCO held its Annual General Meeting in Gaborone, Botswana on 8 & 9 November.

The tendency for national judicial systems to almost automatically bring criminal prosecutions following a commercial aircraft accident is a growing global phenomenon. Human error is a rare but inevitable factor in the safety chain. Prosecuting basic human error will not deter future genuine errors from occurring.

“Overzealous prosecutors attempting to criminalize aviation accidents can have a chilling effect on cooperation by aviation professionals with accident investigators. The free flow of information to understand what happened and why, and prevent recurrence of the tragedy has always been crucial to making the aviation industry ever saver” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “However”, warned Kok “in order to urge judicial authorities to exercise greater restraint and adopt stricter guidelines before initiating criminal prosecutions in the wake of aviation disasters, the aviation community has to stop repeating the naïve argumentation that has been prevailing. That defensive argumentation follows the line of trying to claim conditional immunity from judicial investigation just because we should be allowed to learn from our own mistakes”.

“Civil and administrative mechanisms may exist to deal with any violation of aviation standards but these mostly do not afford an opportunity for the interest of victims and families of victims to be taken into account. This is another reason to ensure adequate emergency response planning so that victims and families of victims see that their concerns are taken seriously from the onset of an accident. In some countries, the only opportunity to consider the right of victims and families of victims is through a criminal case”, Kok told the AFRASCO members. “The growth of criminal prosecution may equally be influenced by independent accident investigation. A credible institution may at least settle some of the emotions of victims and families of victims. In some cases in Africa, a regional accident investigation organisation may be to only viable option.”

“The aviation industry has to start actively managing the relationship with Departments of Public Prosecution, where necessary with the help of a regional committee of peers such as AFRASCO to avoid vocational and national solidarity. Wherever possible, the aviation community has to work on training or sensitising judicial staff on thepractical, operational & technical aspects of air transport to reduce the chances of misunderstanding between the various parties involved. AviAssist is ready to play its part hand in hand with AFRASCO throughout the region through our largely free safety magazine SafetyFocus” Kok said.

To download the full press release as an Adobe PDF document, click here



10-19-2011

Practical airport fire fighting training completed

The AviAssist Foundation has completed its first annual airport rescue and fire fighting training in Africa.

“Firemen from 2 African countries participated in this practical training at our partner host airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”In partnership with Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) from the Netherlands, the Foundation delivered the five day course. With the trainers from GAE, one of the many subjects we paid attention to was the use of a firefighter’s lifeline – the breathing apparatus. The training also included a number of nighttime live-fire exercises. The training directly improved the emergency preparedness of the participating airports. We are keen to continue our contribution to training more professionals that are close to the hazards”.

It is most likely that an airport fire-fighter will work an entire career without having to respond to a large frame aircraft accident resulting in a hull loss or significant loss of life. It is for this reason that airport fire fighters rely on initial and recurrent training to prepare them for a wide spectrum of aircraft emergencies should one occur.

ICAO audits in the African region having found quite some deficiencies in the area of fire fighting minimum training requirements (including live fire drills) with recurrent training in the region taking place at a much lower interval then required.

Recognising that very little (in-region) training is available to airport fire fighters, the AviAssist training combined a refresher course with numerous practical exercises over the course of five intensive days.

“As part of our long term commitment to the subject, we will continue our support to the professionals that attended this courses through an internet group http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/AfricanARFF . On top of that, all of the participants receive a two year subscription to our quarterly safety magazine SafetyFocus that will feature regular articles on airport rescue and fire fighting ” Kok said.

The Foundation is in discussion with the Zambian airport operator NACL to have next year’s event take place in Zambia with selected invitations from 1 or 2 airports from the East African Community.

“However much we wish to include larger numbers in the training, the practical part of it in combination with safety for the trainers and participants makes that we cannot accommodate more than 14 firemen in each course”, Kok commented.

Financial support for the organisation of the training was provided by the Netherlands Ministry of Transport and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, with Kenya Airways providing the air transport for the trainers and facilitator. The support by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways is further proof of the fact that the Foundation addresses priorities identified or recognised by the aviation industry.

To download the full press release as an Adobe PDF document, click here.

Some photo impressions at http://www.facebook.com/pages/AviAssist-Foundation/165826106812721


Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 19th October, 2011



06-06-2011

AviAssist elects Mrs. Munyagi as new Board member

The AviAssist Foundation announced today that the Board of Governors has elected a new Board member. In recognition of her leadership and commitment to raising aviation safety in Tanzania and Africa, Mrs. Margaret Munyagi, former Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (rtd.) was elected on the AviAssist Foundation’s Board at the spring 2011 Board meeting.

Mrs. Munyagi, in her role as Director General of Civil Aviation, campaigned to bring best practices and global standards to Tanzania and the region and introduced new safety regulations in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She is also one of the founding Board members of one of Africa’s regional safety oversight organisations, the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) of the five countries of the East African Community.

“Mrs. Munyagi has been involved in Aviassist activities from the very start in 1996 when it was still a program of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport. She has been the driving force behind the transformation of safety oversight in Tanzania over the past decade. The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) became a major player in African regulatory safety oversight under her leadership”, commented Tom Kok, Director of the AviAssist Foundation. ”At the same time, Mrs. Munyagi demands professionalism, honesty, integrity and discipline in the conduct of aviation business in Tanzania and beyond. I don't think we can adequately describe the enormous amount of work Mrs. Munyagi has donein her efforts to raise the level of aviation safety in Tanzania as well as connect it to the global aviation community. We are pleased to have this new perspective join the Board following her retirement from her position at TCAA. As the Foundation grows, the Board has to ensure it remains fully engaged and having Mrs. Munyagi on the Board is an important step in that engagement.”

Board members are elected to a three year term and may serve two terms total. The Board meets twice a year and provides strategic guidance to the Foundation.

For the full press release as a PDF document, please click here.

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 6th June, 2011 —



05-20-2011

AviAssist joins twitter - connecting African professionals

AviAssist has joined the ranks of individuals and businesses on the social networking site Twitter.com. AviAssist will post the latest organisational news, training opportunities and updates on deployments.

“More people are looking to the internet as their first stop for news and opportunities to network with other professionals,” said AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “Twitter is a major source of connecting on the internet with AviAssist, aviation safety professionals, corporations and interested individuals.

Twitter provides AviAssist with an additional communications stream that will keep followers informed and connected with the organisation and its work. So far, we have already posted some 260 Tweets.”

For the full press release - click here



11-29-2010

AviAssist completes training of 70 African professionals in best practices

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 29th November, 2010

The AviAssist Foundation continues its support to the promotion of professional excellence in African aviation safety.

“Over the past 2 weeks, over 70 professionals from 5 countries in the region were trained in industry best practices under AviAssist programs at our partner host airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”In partnership with Special Cargo Services (SCS) from the Netherlands, the Airports Council International (ACI) and Mweka Wildlife College, the Foundation delivered three training courses. With SCS we delivered an awareness course on the transport of dangerous goods. By working with ACI we delivered the airside safety & operations course. In partnership with Mweka Wildlife College and Kilimanjaro International Airport, we provided further Swahili – English training on wildlife hazards to aviation. With this training, we extended the training that we started in 2009 and September this year to people doing the actual wildlife patrols. Operational staff closest to the hazards quite often gets the least training of all. We will continue our efforts on these and other subjects by working with a number of aviation schools in the region under our Training Centre Capacitybuilding Program (TCCP) on embedding awareness courses on these subjects at those partner schools. With funds being limited in any industry, training for operational staff closest to the hazards will need such courses to be run at national aviation training centres. Under the TCCP we are aiming to complement ICAO’s effort to make States self sufficient in imparting soft skills safety training”.

To read the full press release, click here.



09-28-2010

Foundation completes 2nd bird strike prevention training East Africa

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 28th September, 2010

The AviAssist Foundation continues its support to reducing the risks of wildlife to aviation. It completed a seven day wildlife hazard management training at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. A four day training was followed by a three day master class on the same subject. With both training events, the Foundation continued the support it started in September 2009.

“With 25 participants from 7 countries in the region, the workshop is part of the Foundation’s efforts campaign to bring best safety practices within reach of aviation professionals in East and Southern Africa” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”The workshop followed international standards on this subject. The Foundation was pleased to find 2 members of the International Bird Strike Committee prepared to make their expertise available to their colleagues in this region. The overwhelming interest for participation to the workshop is also testimony to the region’s interest in trying to tackle this complicated issue. We were happy to be able to include Mweka Wildlife College from Tanzania in our efforts to support ICAO in making make the region self sufficient in imparting safety training. We will continue our support to the wildlife strike prevention community in the region through regular features in our complimentary safety magazine SafetyFocus and a dedicated part of our website”.

Financial and in kind support of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the United States Department of Agriculture, Precision Air and host Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company made the workshop possible and largely free to participants. The participants had to cover their own travel and accommodation cost and made small contribution to the aviation safety award fund that the Foundation is setting up. The Aviators award, that the Foundation plans to start in 2011, aims to reward safety champions in the region.

To download the full press release in Adobe PDF format, click here.



09-09-2010

Foundation launches Africa’s own aviation safety magazine

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 15th September, 2010

Today, the AviAssist Foundation launched its complimentary safety magazine SafetyFocus. The full colour safety magazine is a unique vehicle to get best safety practices out to the African region.

“We still struggle to put tools and information directly in the hands of the safety professionals that need them. This particularly in regions like Africa where the people who do the real work, have limited or unreliable access to the internet” says AviAssist Board member and Flight Safety Foundation President William R. Voss. “With this new publication SafetyFocus, we hope to fill the hands of safety professionals in Africa with the same vital and timely safety information we already distribute to more than 100,000 professionals around the world. Access to safety information should not be limited by the bandwidth of your connection or your ability to pay.”

A content provision agreement has been concluded with the Flight Safety Foundation’s acclaimed publication Aerosafety World as well as with the FlightSafety magazine of the Australian Civil Aviation Authority. This ensures high quality content of international calibre while the magazine builds towards establishing dedicated African content from readers and correspondents.

“By reaching out for industry support through advertising, we aim to make this information available largely for free” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok “It’s already being distributed to 500 professionals in 42 African countries. Every airline or low capacity operator in East and Southern Africa can apply for a free subscription for its CEO and its safety officer. Beyond that, organisations can choose to turn the magazine into their staff safety magazine as part of the implementation of Safety Management Systems at a nominal fee that will help sustain the magazine. Other readers of the magazine include Ministers of Transport, Finance & Tourism, Parliamentary Transport Committees, directors general of African & leading global aviation authorities, airport authorities, international organisations such as IATA, ICAO, IFALPA, World Bank, the African Union as well as Foreign Embassies & European Delegations in Africa that may be involved in a co-operating partner role in their respective country. Altogether, over 650 readers in over 54 countries worldwide - and the number is growing.”

“No other channel offers the unique, cost efficient marketing opportunities for the African market that SafetyFocus offers” continues Kok. Over the next three years, IATA forecasts that the number of passengers travelling to and from Africa will rise at a compound annual rate of 6.5 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world for air transport. We are happy to provide the industry a channel through which to tap into that lucrative market to help us getting the safety information out”.

To download the full press release, click here.



06-09-2010

Foundation Board welcomes Kenya Airways

At its June 7 board meeting, the AviAssist Foundation (AF) welcomed Ron Schipper as a new board member. Schipper is board member of both Kenya Airways and Tanzania’s Precision Air. The board also welcomed Head of Flight Operations Michiel van Dorst as KLM’s new board member, succeeding Elfrieke van Galen who left KLM earlier this year.

“The Foundation will shortly finalise its 2010-2014 Strategic Plan” said AF chairman Bert Kraan. ”The implementation of this plan will see the start of its flagship magazine SafetyFocus this summer, an exciting new product of the Foundation. The magazine will mean a major step forward in access to best practices for the region’s aviation professionals. Advertisers from various branches of the aviation industry are using the magazine for the unique marketing opportunity that it is. With those advertisements being carried in 22 East and Southern African countries, the Foundation is enabled to distribute the magazine for free to a large audience.“

“The plan’s implementation will also see the development and roll out of an aviation data & safety enhancement (ADSE) tool to serve the region’s growing safety data requirements,” Kraan continued. “The strategic plan will guide the efforts at making best safety practices and the global aviation safety roadmap available in the region through amongst others its Training Centre Capacity building Program (TCCP) and support to the East African- interim Wildlife Management Committee (supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Transport)”

The expansion of the board with Kenya Airways signifies the increasing recognition of the Foundation’s added value to safety promotion and assurance in East and Southern Africa (ESAF)” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok.

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 9 June, 2010

To download the full press release in PDF, click here.



04-22-2010
Foundation secures contract for birdstrike prevention program    

Netherlands, Hoofddorp - 22 April, 2010

The Netherlands Ministry of Transport (NMoT) contracted the AviAssist Foundation to organise a number of events on wildlife management & aviation. Wildlife issues and in particular birdstrikes remain a major safety issue for airlines and operators in East and Southern Africa. A number of destinations in that region have a significantly higher bird strike ratio then ICAO minima prescribe. The region does not have an established program on training on the subject nor does it have a regional wildlife management committee. The Foundation will organise two events that will be hosted by Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company in Tanzania in September.

”The AviAssist Foundation continually invests in developing programs that address industry priorities” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “The two upcoming events built on a successful workshop on the subject in November 2009. That event present a great learning experience for the participants, it also led to the start of the interim East African Wildlife Committee. Interim because there are discussions ongoing with the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) of the East African Community to embed the committee in its programs. From the November workshop, the Foundation has continued its support to the subject by providing support to the participants by email.
“Just like the previous event we will rely on partners and sponsors to ensure that the costs of participation remains realistic. It is a privilege for the AviAssist Foundation to continue to work with the NMoT as the major supporter for this program. Hosting such events and providing (in kind) support provides an excellent opportunity for such partners to demonstrate their commitment to improving aviation safety and improve their profile in the region. It also means that participants may be able to learn from other stakeholders that would not necessarily be presenting at such events otherwise. For example, in this upcoming event, we hope to have in kind support from an engine manufacturer through a presentation to increase participants’ appreciation of the engineering side of bird strikes and wildlife encounters”

The four day workshop and the three day masterclass will see facilitation by a team of renowned experts and will see input and sponsoring by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
To download the full press release in Adobe PDF, click here.



11-16-2009

Bird strike prevention workshop East Africa completed in Arusha

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 16th November, 2009 — The AviAssist Foundation completed a four day wildlife hazard management workshop at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania on Friday. The course provided an introduction and refresher to wildlife hazards to aviation. The workshop was oversubscribed with 27 participants from 7 countries in the region.

“A number of airports in the East African region suffer from a fairly serious bird strike problem. The workshop is part of the Foundation’s efforts campaign to bring best practices within reach of African aviation professionals in East and Southern Africa” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”The workshop was closely coordinated with ICAO and the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) of the East African Community (EAC). It followed international standards on this subject. The Foundation was pleased to find 2 members of the International Bird Strike Committee prepared to make their expertise available to their colleagues in this region. The overwhelming interest for participation to the workshop may be testimony to the region’s interest to tackle this complicated issue”.

In his opening address, CASSOA Executive Director Mtesigwa Maugo underlined his Agency’s support to the possible establishment of a regional Wildlife Management Committee. During the workshop, the Foundation managed to facilitate the start of the East African Interim Wildlife Hazard Management Committee. The Foundation will support the committee as part of its regular mandate.

Financial and in kind support of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Precision Air and host Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company made the workshop possible and free to participants other then having to cover their own travel and accommodation cost.

“We will step up our efforts to make best safety practices available to aviation professionals in this region. In June next year, we will start the Foundation’s full colour safety magazine ‘SafetyFocus’. The international aviation community doesn’t always appreciate that most aviation professionals here cannot easily browse the worldwide web for such best practices. The Foundation will close that gap with a full colour magazine that will be distributed for free in hard copy to key decision makers in the African industry. Organisations can turn the magazine into their in-house safety magazine as part of the implementation of Safety Management Systems. For advertisers, the magazine will be a unique opportunity to access 22 East and Southern African countries with their products and services. In that way, they can start accessing the region for a nominal fee per country - an excellent option in these times of tight budgets.”

For the full press release in PDF, click here.



10-05-2009

Foundation arranges aviation inspectors course for Zambia

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 5th October, 2009

The AviAssist Foundation was instrumental in getting an ICAO endorsed Government Safety Inspectors course to Zambia. The course is conducted by instructors from the Netherlands Aviation College (NLC) from the Netherlands. It is normally taught at the NLC facilities in Hoofddorp. The NLC is one of only 8 training centres worldwide that is endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to provide these critical courses.

To further improve its already good standing with the aviation industry, the Zambian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) invited a number of senior pilots from operators to the course to increase their appreciation for the DCA’s responsibilities.

The Zambian Permanent Secretary of Communications and Transport Mr. Dominic Sichinga today opened the course in Lusaka, Zambia. “The workshop is part of the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) to ensure it meets its international (ICAO) aviation safety oversight obligations” stated Permanent Secretary Sichinga. ”The GRZ is working hard on implementing a corrective action plan to meet shortfalls that came up in the 2009 ICAO audit of Zambia. The action plan forms the roadmap for meeting the ICAO standards and, from there, getting Zambia removed from the EU blacklist on aviation. This course in turn is an important ingredient of that roadmap.”

“One of the major findings of the ICAO Safety Oversight Audit program is that there is a significant shortage of qualified and experienced Government Safety Inspectors (GSI) in many states. Most states only need a limited number of inspectors. Establishment of specific training centres at a national level may therefore not be economical. The Netherlands holds a valuable instrument with having one of those centres in Hoofddorp” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “The efforts to bring this course to Zambia are part of the Foundation’s campaign to make best safety practices available to aviation professionals in this region. It is encouraging to see that the GRZ, through its Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), shows increased commitment to its safety oversight responsibilities by paying for this course to come to Zambia. In that way, many more Zambian safety oversight officers can be trained. On top of that, Zambia continues to show regional leadership by opening up the course to other states from the region. This is a promising development given efforts that are underway to come to regional co-operation on certain elements of aviation safety oversight. In fact, the AviAssist Foundation assisted the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in organising a symposium on Regional Aviation Safety Agencies that was hosted by the GRZ in July this year”. For the full press release in PDF, please click here.



07-01-2009

Safety awareness course Zambia to initiate safety management practice - Hoofddorp, 1st July, 2009

In a possible first for East and Southern Africa outside South Africa, the AviAssist Foundation yesterday finished a two day safety awareness course in Zambia. The course provided an introduction to safety management for Zambian operators. It helps them work towards the implementation of a safety management system (SMS). The oversubscribed course had 22 participants from amongst others the air force, the airports and numerous commercial operators.

The implementation of an SMS will map toplevel safety concerns. At the same time, safety data collection and analysis will then have to start measuring an operator’s effectiveness in dealing with these toplevel safety concerns.

“The course is part of the Foundation’s campaign to support the roll out of data driven safety management in East and Southern Africa” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”The Foundation remains committed to bring knowledge on crucial safety subjects such as SMS to the African region in coordination with ICAO. The course is based on materials of a wide variety of sources, including ICAO. Elements of this course have been developed and adapted from the Hearts and Minds program (www.energyinst.org.uk/heartsandminds), with the kind permission of Shell International Exploration and Production. A move towards a positive safety culture in Africa really requires that such critical courses are also made available in-country for a wider group of staff members. It starts with staff getting an appreciation of those components and concepts. We plan to develop a shorter version of the course to address all staff of operators (incl. e.g. ground support staff) and a longer version to go beyond an introduction. At just under €200 per person for a two day in-country course, regulators and smaller operators can also afford to start pro-active safety management in their operations. The course is part of a toolkit that the Foundation aims to develop to assist in the implementation of SMS. It is crucial that the tools are within the financial & human resource capabilities of the average African operator, which is not a large IATA carrier. The training will also become available to operators and regulators in other countries in the region. Just as in Zambia, we want to include a free train-the-trainer component to a series of 3 or 4 courses in other countries. In that way, national civil aviation colleges can work towards including the course into their regular curriculum and tap into this soft skills market. This ensures a solution that is affordable to operators and safety regulators in each country.”

To access the press release as a PDF document, click here.



06-26-2009

EASA contracts Foundation on regional safety oversight symposium - 26 June 2009

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) contracted the AviAssist Foundation to assist in the organisation of a symposium on Regional Aviation Safety Agencies (RASAs) that will take place from 13-15 July in Livingstone, Zambia. The three day event, organised by EASA and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and hosted by the Zambian Department of Civil Aviation, aims to share experiences in and obstacles to regional approaches in Africa and other regions. The event will promote the concept of RASA as a solution to some of the safety oversight challenges faced in parts of Africa.

”It is a privilege for the AviAssist Foundation to work with EASA and AFCAC on promoting regional solutions” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “Realistically, the level of aviation activity in many African countries is (yet) too low to generate the funds necessary to support effective and sustainable national safety oversight systems. Regional organisations, bringing together a workable number of states, offer the most economical way to pool resources for effective oversight. But there seems to be little progress in oversight cooperation in East and Southern Africa, other then the East African Community (EAC). The AviAssist Foundation wants to work with EASA and AFCAC on the involvement of critical aviation outsiders in the possible positive effects of the establishment of regional organisations. It is crucial to get this issue on the political agenda of African governments, not just on the agenda of civil aviation departments. The challenge will be to find a genuine, common cause to drive regional co-operation. In Europe in the 1970’s, this drive was the desire to set up a large aeroplanes industry that could compete with US aircraft manufacturers. That needed a more efficient certification process. This led to the birth of the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) that will come to a close on the 30th of June 2009. The JAA has shown the way to pan-European co-operation in the field of aviation safety and is leaving a great heritage to European aviation. That heritage is now being completely taken over by the EASA. Some countries in Africa may want to come together on safety oversight as possibly the only way of ensuring that safety oversight gets to an internationally acceptable level”

To download this press release in Adobe PDF, click here.


05-28-2009

EU contracts Foundation on Zambia safety support

Hoofddorp, Netherlands, 28 May, 2009

The Delegation of the European Commission (EC) in Zambia has contracted the AviAssist Foundation to kick-start EC support to aviation safety improvements in Zambia.

The program will be funded under the European Development Fund (EDF). The EDF is the main instrument providing European Union aid for development cooperation with amongst others African countries. It finances programs contributing to the economic development of the recipient countries. This EDF funding comes from the EDF focal sector of regional integration & transport Infrastructure.

“The Foundation is pleased to work hand in hand with the Delegation of the European Commission in Zambia to improve aviation safety. As a result of the non-profit status of the Foundation, it can perform contracts like this under most international tendering thresholds. This makes it possible for sponsors such as the European Commission to act swiftly because a direct contract is then possible” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “This contract underlines a constructive approach by the European Union (EU) to complement the signal function of the EU blacklisting. The AviAssist Foundation looks forward to working with other EC delegations in Africa within the EDF framework. It is a valuable instrument to facilitate safety improvements needed to harvest bigger benefits from tourism and business that rely on aviation. For Zambia, the objective is to build capacity on regulatory and operational issues in the specific areas of air safety, security and traffic management. The EC and the Foundation are keen to try and ensure that the capacity building happens in close co-ordination with the national industry”.

For the full press release, please click here.



02-18-2009
Info packages to Malawi & Mozambique parliaments dispatched - The AviAssist Foundation has dispatched its info packages to the members of parliament of the transport committees of the parliaments of Malawi & Mozambique.

Aviation authorities may face political reluctance when they are trying to realize fundamental changes. This could be towards modern legal codes needed for adequate safety oversight. A better understanding amongst politicians may help them overcome political reluctance when trying to restructure the safety oversight organisation to autonomous organisation. The aviation authority may have to persuade its parent ministry, the cabinet and its parliament that autonomisation or regionalisation may be a critical step to a more effective oversight organisation. The dispatch of the info package by the AviAssist Foundation is part of the campaign to increase political & parliamentary understanding and appreciation for the international framework on aviation safety in East and Southern Africa.




11-27-2008

AviAssist brings information sessions on State Safety Program to Zambia

In a first for Africa, the AviAssist Foundation brought two information sessions on State Safety Programs (SSP) to Zambia. The sessions provided a first introduction to the concept of the SSP at a national level.

The State Safety Program (SSP) is the State’s equivalent of the Safety Management System (SMS). The implementation of an SSP will map toplevel safety concerns. At the same time, safety data collection and analysis will then have to start measuring the aviation department’s effectiveness in dealing with the issues surrounding and supporting these toplevel safety concerns.

 

“Safety promotion is a crucial part of the mission of the AviAssist Foundation” explained AviAssist Director Tom Kok. ”The Foundation’s remains committed to bring knowledge on crucial safety subjects such as State Safety Programs to the African region. A move towards a just culture in Africa simply requires that such critical sessions and workshops are not only available to senior management at workshops abroad but are also made available in country. The AviAssist Foundation is building a toolkit to assist in the implementation of State Safety Programs.
For the full press release, please click here.


10-21-2008

Technology donations to help initiate data driven safety practice -

The AviAssist Foundation in Southern Africa announced today that it had received several important technology donations from two companies in Europe. ADSE Consulting & Engineering of the Netherlands and Gael Ltd. of the UK have teamed up with AviAssist to support the initiation of data driven management in Africa.

“The first step to managing anything is to measure it. Safety management and data analysis are tools that can be highly efficient in predicting where ought to be taken to prevent accidents and incidents,” noted AviAssist Director Tom Kok. “However, data driven safety management has not yet influenced operations in Africa on a large scale.The exposure to the technology from ADSE and Gael will assist the Foundation in enabling African operators and governments to draw valuable lessons from normal operations and incidents"

To download the full press release click here.



10-08-2008

First ICAO State Safety Program workshop - ICAO’s ACIP (African Comprehensive Implementation Plan) held its first State Safety Program in Ethiopia from the 23rd until the 26th of September.

The State Safety Program (SSP) has a number of components that can also be clearly recognised in the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap of the Industry (ISSG). In that respect it is interesting to see how the development of SSPs and the Roadmap start to move in sync. The Roadmap further provides clearly defined best practices that can be used by African countries to prioritise their activities in implementing their SSP.

The SSP introduces the need of data collection by States to enable agreeing on acceptable levels of safety performance. It will insert quality assurance components into safety oversight. As such, the introduction of SSP should do away with merely prescribing regulations by introducing a more interactive approach of setting safety targets. As such, it could play an important role in bridging the gap between the regulator and the industry. Making that gap smaller will be a critical element of changing a (safety) culture.
More information on the State Safety Program workshop will soon be placed on the ICAO FSIX website


08-08-2008
ICAO Safety Oversight Audit information for the Seychelles and South Africa has been added to the ICAO FSIX website. For an overview of the audit results of the Seychelles, follow this link. For an overview of the audit results of South Africa, follow this link.


07-10-2008
Foundations start African parliamentary Campaign - The AviAssist Foundation today starts a campaign to inform Parliamentary transport committees in East and Southern African (ESAF) on aviation safety issues. Parliaments play a critical role in enabling much-needed legislative changes and empowering the civil aviation department.

 

“A new crop of threats to aviation safety is part of a renewed focus of the FSF. Amongst those emerging risks is a shaky political will” said FSF President and CEO William R. Voss.
 
The AviAssist Foundation has assembled an information package that is being dispatched to parliaments in the ESAF region. The package will inform Parliamentary Transport Committees about the aviation safety challenges that may benefit from their support.
 
To download the full press release click here or visit the Flight Safety Foundation's website.


07-02-2008
Preparing for ICAO audits - A number of countries in the East and Southern African region are preparing for their Comprehensive Safety Audit (CSA) later this year. Zambia will receive the ICAO audit team from the 15th until the 24th of September. Three of the East African Community states are due for their audit in November. Kenya will be audited from 4-13 November whereas Tanzania and Uganda will be audited from the 17th until the 26th of November. It will be the first audit of the East African Community states since their joint Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) has been installed. Preparations for the audits are in full swing with a number of countries hosting an ICAO workshop to assist in the preparations. The previous audits of those countries looked into safety oversight only (ICAO Annex 1,6 & 8) but the upcoming CSA audits will review all but one of the 18 ICAO Annexes. This will lead to a comprehensive overview of aviation safety in the audited country. It also means that more staff has to be brought up to speed on the rationale & methodology of the audits.


06-05-2008
The AviAssist Foundation appraised airlines and stakeholders from the Gulf Region on African aviation safety issues during today's meeting of the Gulf Flight Safety Committee (GFSC). The AviAssist Foundation was invited by the GFSC to come and share its programs with GFSC members. The GFSC aims to share safety materials and experiences between Gulf based airlines to improve safety of their operations. Jointly, the airlines from that region operate some 153 weekly frequencies into Africa, transporting some 1 million passengers into the African region on a yearly basis. This number is growing rapidly. GFSC members are interested in sharing their expertise with the ESAF region. While in Dubai, the Foundation undertook further promotion at the Dubai Airport Show and briefed the Netherlands Consulate on its activities. The United Arab Emirates is member of the Steering Committee of the ICAO African Comprehensive Implementation Plan (ACIP). The AviAssist Foundation will continue working closely with the GFSC members and is working towards mobilising support from the region for its programs and services.


06-02-2008
Foundation team to boost African aviation safety - Flight Safety Foundation and the AviAssist Foundation today announced that the two organisations have developed a partnership to address aviation safety issues in the East and Southern African (ESAF) region. The partnership will support efforts to replicate success stories of some countries and companies that so far largely go unnoticed.
To download the full press release, click here.


05-29-2008
Today, the Southern African (SADC) project for cooperative safety oversight was officially launched in Lusaka, Zambia. During a special session on the day before the SADC Civil Aviation Committee meeting, the COSCAP-SADC steering committee had its first meeting. Under leadership of the ICAO Regional Office in Nairobi, project coordinator Cliff Elbl outlined the plans for the first 12 months of the project. SADC brings together 14 Southern African states. The project is hosted in the Botswana capital Gaborone that also houses the SADC headquarters. It is expected to last 36 months from April 2008 onwards. COSCAP projects focus their prime attention on cooperative development of safety oversight capacity on aviation operations, airworthiness and personnel licensing.


04-23-2008
The first African workshop on the implementation of the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap took place in Abuja, Nigeria from 14 to 16 April. It was the first of its kind to be held in Africa under the parameters of the recently launched Global Aviation Safety Road Map, an initiative of the International Safety Strategy Group (ISSG).  
The significance of the roadmap is that it is an initiative that involves all the stakeholders of the aviation community worldwide. It involves international organizations and associations, airport operators, aircraft operators and manufacturers, service providers and professional pilots. This approach changes the culture and paradigms of global aviation safety.
The ISSG was formed two years ago and its members include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airport Council International (ACI), International Federation of Airlines Pilots Association (IFALPA), Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) and aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.




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