SEYCHELLES HOSTS AFRICAN AIR NAVIGATION MEETING
The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority co-hosted, for the first time ever, a meeting of NAFISAT, short for Northern Africa and Indian Ocean communications by Satellite grouping, which brings together a number of countries from Africa and the Middle East. Representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen came together in the Seychelles, where, since hosting Routes Africa in July last year, a number of continental aviation meetings have taken place.
The member states vested the management of the programme to the Air Traffic Navigation Service of South Africa and part of the deliberations were aimed at resolving future cooperation beyond 2015, when the current arrangements were due to expire. The meeting resolved, according to a report received, that NAFISAT will continue to be hosted by South Africa for at least a further 7 years, allowing for longer term planning and the introduction of the latest technologies over that period of time to improve air navigation infrastructure and management on the African continent and across the Indian Ocean islands.
Bringing such meetings to the Seychelles is largely credited to the Seychelles Tourism Board’s foresight to lobby for and then co-host Routes Africa last year, working hand in hand with SCAA, which brought fresh focus on to the archipelago as a conference destination, where work and pleasure can be combined best, but also underscored the geographical importance of the Seychelles vis a vis Africa’s air transport. Only in the Seychelles – watch this space.