IFATCA MEETING FOR AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST ENDS IN KAMPALA
The 23rd IFATCA Africa / Middle East Regional Meeting ended yesterday in Kampala on a high note with a gala dinner hosted by the Uganda Air Traffic Controllers Association at the Kampala Serena Hotel. This is the third time UATCA is hosting this important event after 1998 and 2004, a glowing endorsement for their own professional standing among their colleagues and of Uganda’s ability to host such events and have delegates look forward to a return. Delegates from the 49 member associations united under this regional umbrella were dealing with an extensive agenda on aviation safety and ATC challenges over three days of morning till late night meetings at the Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo, where the plenary and breakout sessions were conducted amid the serene settings of the Lake Victoria shores.
Day one saw a full day with the official opening and an aerial display by Capt. Howard Davenport of the Kampala Aero Club, followed by an afternoon seminar with high powered speakers on the issue of Critical Incident Stress Management. A series of presentations and interaction with delegates followed on such crucial areas as ICAO’s aviation safety initiatives, on ‘unstable approaches’ and on safety collaboration between stakeholders, all with focus on improving the aviation safety records in Africa, which are still lagging behind global averages.
A series of renowned speakers also addressed themes like fatigue, the role of ASECNA and CASSOA as well as highlighted the link between aviation and tourism, presented by this correspondent.
The 2013 meeting was handed to Tunisia to host, which outbid Zambia by a wide margin. Delegates will today visit Jinja, the Source of the Nile and see other adventure activities along the upper Nile valley below the Owen Falls and Bujagali dams before returning back to Kampala through the Mabira, central Uganda’s green lung of nearly 28.000 hectares of tropical rain forest. From us in Uganda it is Kwaheri ya Kuonana, until you surely come back in a few year’s time again.