The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for world's airlines, and the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner for the improvement of aviation safety.
The New Times has learnt that the MoU was signed between Silas Udahemuka, the Director General of Rwanda CAA and Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East last week
According to a statement by IATA, under the MoU, the parties will work together to establish a framework for using the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) to complement Rwanda's safety oversight.
"Rwanda CAA is committed to improving African aviation safety. Our partnership with IATA will help us to do that by taking greater advantage of IOSA in our safety oversight programme," Udahemuka said in a statement.
In 2015, the Abuja Declaration on Aviation Safety in Africa committed African governments to establish a framework for recognition of IOSA and all African airlines to obtain IOSA registration by 2020.
Rwanda will become the second African country to fulfil this commitment after Zimbabwe, the statement says.
Today, some 440 airlines are on the IOSA registry, of which 290 are IATA members.
Carriers on the IOSA registry consistently perform better on safety, highlighting that in 2017, the all accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry was nearly four times better than that of non-IOSA airlines and nearly three times better over the 2012-2016 period.
Albakri congratulated Rwanda for the decision to complement their safety oversight with IOSA.
"We look forward to working with the Government of Rwanda to turn the words of this MoU into actions that will further improve aviation safety. And we hope that our work together will be an inspiration to other African governments to take similar action in fulfilling their Abuja Declaration commitments," he said.