The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN, has given his view on how the goals of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) can be achieved.

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According to the Minister, a deeper collaboration among African countries is vital to achieving the goals of SAATM.

Keyamo said there was a need for the alignment of aviation policies and regulations across African countries, stressing that it would help in creating a seamless and efficient air transport market.

Speaking in Johannesburg at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) conference titled: ‘Wings of Change Focus Africa 2024’, the Minister said SAATM’s potentials were numerous, adding that it could increase trade, tourism and investment opportunities.

He also emphasised the need for significant investments in airport infrastructure and air navigation services to support increased air traffic and ensure safety and efficiency.

The Minister highlighted the importance of training and development programmes for aviation professionals to build a skilled workforce capable of supporting a modern and competitive aviation industry.

Public-Private Partnerships: Encouraging partnerships between governments and private sector stakeholders to leverage resources, expertise, and innovation for the growth and sustainability of the aviation sector.

The Minister also called for a concerted effort to address the challenges facing the African aviation industry, such as high operational costs, restrictive bilateral agreements, and limited access to financing. He stressed that overcoming these obstacles is essential to unlocking the full potential of SAATM and achieving the broader economic benefits for the continent.

SAATM is a project of the African Union to create a single market for air transport in Africa. Once completely in force, the single market is supposed to allow significant freedom of air transport in Africa, advancing the AU’s Agenda 2063.