Africa’s ATM community looks to future of air navigation


Around 300 people attended a two-day virtual event on 11 and 12 February to discuss the future of air navigation in Africa.

Organised by CANSO with support from ATNS, the event was held to explore the various types of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), particularly satellite or ground-based augmentation systems (SBAS, GBAS), that could help to transform ATM in the region.

After introductory remarks and welcome from Mr. Dumisani Sangweni, CEO of ATNS, Mr. Barry Kashambo, Regional Director ICAO Eastern and South Africa, outlined ICAO’s view on the benefits of the technologies and how they could be used. There were then presentations from the users of SBAS and GBAS around the world. These included the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), AEROTHAI, DSNA, and the European Commission. Mr. Patrick Mana from EUROCONTROL also examined the important cyber security considerations of using these technologies.

On the second day, Mr. Tefera Mekonnen, Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), and Mr. Stephen Creamer, Director, Air Navigation Bureau, ICAO delivered keynote addresses, outlining their organisations approaches to developing use of the technology. Attendees also heard from ASECNA, the African branch of the Airline Pilots Association, and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). Each discussed their own views on the best ways to use SBAS and GBAS, and the scenarios in which each system could benefit them.

Boni Dibate, CANSO Director, Africa Affairs, said: “It was a real honour to host this event, which brought together colleagues from across our entire continent to discuss the ways we can harness technology for the improvement of our industry.

“I think we all benefitted from the mix of speakers from both non-african and African organisations. The openness of the discussions, and the willingness of people to share their knowledge and experience was a real demonstration of the access to expertise that CANSO can bring.

“There was an active discussion and questions from the audience, and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to similar events in the future.”

You can see day 1’s presentation here, and day 2’s here.