Africa : African airports in serious need of investment

Aviation stakeholders in Africa are calling on public and private sectors to work together to improve airport operations.


African airports in serious need of investment


Africa : African airports in serious need of investment

Aviation stakeholders in Africa are calling on public and private sectors to work together to improve airport operations. They say an initiative should include employing modern technologies to meet demands of the market. Most airports in Africa are unable to handle the increasing number of travellers and cargo volumes because of poor infrastructure. During the 17th annual Aviation and Allied Business Leadership conference in Dar es Salaam recently, 200 participants united in the opinion that most airports in Africa had poor infrastructure. This included ineffective safety and security systems which cause unnecessary delays in cargo handling and pose a threat to aviation on the continent. The stakeholders called for joint initiatives between public and private sectors in investing in infrastructure improvement. The operations director of the Astra Aviation, Michael Mutahi, said improving cargo terminals, parking and lighting facilities would improve services. “There is a need for partnerships between airports and airlines for airport operators to understand the demands of cargo airlines. Our customers are surely not happy with the way the services take too long to be delivered,” said Mutahi according to the report. He also added that the charges for air cargo transport were higher in Africa than in other continents. Noting that the highest risk phases of flights were during the take-off and landing, Vaisala marketing manager urged airport authorities and the private sector in Africa to use appropriate technologies and to work jointly and make serious efforts on best practices. “Most African airports are small with poor runways and no instrumental finding systems; but you should standardise the concept of small airports and organise forums for sharing best practices,” urged Horhammer. He added that Africa has only 15 large airports, 440 medium-sized and 1,917 small- sized ones. He argued that the continent could do better with the small sized airports if it seriously invested in them. Swissport Tanzania CEO Gaudence Temu noted that the implementation of technology employment projects at the airports was slow. “Most airports remain outdated and today’s’ needs are growing,” he said adding that cargo terminals were similarly outdated.