Roberts Flight Information Region Programme Manager Wins CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award


Banff, 28 November 2018 – CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has awarded the CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award 2018 to Samba Dabor, Safety Manager, Roberts Flight Information Region (FIR). He is recognised for establishing Roberts FIR’s first safety management system (SMS) in just three months.

Roberts FIR is a cooperative venture between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to provide air navigation services for en-route flights in their combined airspace. Samba Dabor was appointed Safety Manager in May 2018 and began the development of Roberts FIR’s first SMS. In August, the organisation undertook a SMS review – part of the CANSO Africa ATM Safety Peer Review Initiative – and its new system attained a SMS Maturity Level C rating, according to the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems. This indicates a significant level of maturity for a newly established system and a robust platform on which further progress could be developed.

The CANSO Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems  helps air navigation service providers (ANSPs) build, implement and improve their SMS to suit the size and operational complexity of their organisation, reflect industry best practices and meet international standards. It has been used worldwide to transform the performance of ANSPs, including in Africa, where significant steps have been taken by the region to work together to improve safety performance through a peer-review process.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, during the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2018, Steve McMahon, Chair of the CANSO Safety Standing Committee (SSC) and FAA Deputy Vice President of Safety and Technical Training, said: “The entries we received for the Award this year were outstanding, and highlight the variety of initiatives being undertaken to improve global aviation safety. I would like to congratulate all the nominees for their truly inspiring endeavours and commitment.

“In particular, I’d like to congratulate this year’s winner. Building and implementing a robust safety management system is a vital but challenging task for any air navigation service provider. For such progress to be made within a matter of months is truly remarkable, and I would like to commend Samba Dabor for his significant achievement. The improved SMS system will not only allow for safer, more efficient air navigation services, but it is also a brilliant example to others in the region and across the globe in how to deliver effective operational transformation.”

Simon Hocquard, Deputy Director General, CANSO, added: “As the global voice of ATM, it is vital that CANSO recognises excellence and expertise across the industry. Safety is our number one priority, and it is important to showcase the tools and procedures that can, and already are, making a real difference to aviation safety worldwide.

“Optimising processes and procedures and leveraging the skills of those in the industry is a common theme during this week of the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2018, and I would like to commend all those individuals, groups and organisations that are applying their knowledge and experience to optimising ATM performance and enhancing safety. Just as collaborative initiatives like the CANSO Africa ATM Safety Peer Review Initiative or the CANSO ATFM Data Exchange Network for the Americas (CADENA) show, the ATM community is taking some huge strides in tackling key ATM issues, and global events and ceremonies such as these highlight the benefits that innovation and partnership can bring.”

On winning the award, Samba Dabor, Safety Manager, Roberts Flight Information Region (FIR) said: “On behalf of Roberts FIR, it is an honour to receive this award. Safety is our top priority, and through the Africa ATM ANSP Peer Review Initiative, we have been working closely with our peers in the region to share best practice and improve safety performance. The recognition these efforts have received from the CANSO safety community is an important milestone for Roberts FIR and our peer review team, including GCAA and NAMA. I would like to thank all those that have helped and encouraged us along the way, in particular my CEO, Mr Badara A. Tarawalley, for his untiring commitment and support.

“We are at the start of a new beginning and are committed to continuing our efforts in working with States and ANSPs to further improve aviation safety. I look forward to carrying on this exciting journey, and helping to further promote the development and implementation of robust safety management systems. ”

The other CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award nominees were: Sudan Air Navigation Services Safety & Quality Section; Ann Lindeis, Elizabeth O’Hurley and Andi Dekker, NAV CANADAUnifly; and Yondon Erdenebat, Air Navigation Policy Regulation Department of the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (CAAM).

To find out more about the CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award and this year’s nominees, visit the Award page. For more information about the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2018, visit the event page.