The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa and the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) have on 10 April 2014, signed a very important agreement, aimed at building essential aviation infrastructure that will unlock and stimulate regional economic activity – by contributing to a safe, efficient and reliable transport infrastructure within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region.
Revenue generated from the collection of fees for over-flights will accrue to Swaziland. This is according to SWACAA Director General, Solomon Dube.
“ATNS has a reputation of deploying the best efficient and effective aeronautical billing and collection system in the region, if not the continent.”
The agreement is of a commercial nature, where ATNS will be providing a billing service for SWACAA, for all over-flights that include Commercial, Non-Commercial, scheduled and non-scheduled flights. This will result in more usage of new technologies for better efficiency in Communication, Navigation and Surveillance.
Dumisani Sangweni, ATNS Executive, Commercial Services said this signing builds on the strong relationship established between SWACAA and ATNS over the years.
“It aims to strengthen the aviation system in the region and improve safety,” he concluded.
In May 2013, the two entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Swaziland. Some of the provisions included in the initial agreement stated that ATNS would monitor aircraft which use Swaziland airspace, using specialist equipment that are able to observe aircraft as far as Mozambique and the Indian Ocean.
A joint project management team has, over the past year, been hard at work, making sure that the new agreement has all the loopholes covered before implementation.
A single African sky is a common vision shared by most if not all African ANSPs. And that includes ATNS and SWACAA. The two entities have been SADC VSAT Network Supervisory Board members since 1998. The VSAT Network has eliminated all communication deficiencies in the SADC region and is fulfilling the region’s communication requirements in terms of the ICAO Africa/Indian Ocean (AFI) plan.
ATNS and SWACAA have several joint initiatives lined for the near future. These include training that has been specifically tailored, as part of the regional introduction of the new ATNS product, widely known as CAD (Centralized Aeronautical Database system), which is a single repository for all aeronautical information.
This system will enable African States to link up to the database and make use of its benefits, which will be in the static information domain. It will allow for a free-flowing, transparent and open usage of aeronautical information. Innovative Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) and Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) functionalities will be used as cost-effective services.
Both parties are steadfast in their belief that this agreement represents a milestone in regional cooperation, tailor-made to meet the needs and expectations of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) community in the African continent.