Role of Air Transport
Air transport contributes to economic growth and development in the world, including Africa. Air transport opens and connects markets, facilitating trade and enabling firms in diverse places to link into global supply chains. It plays an especially pivotal role in just-in-time global manufacturing production and in speeding fresh produce from agricultural communities in developing economies to markets in the industrialized world. Through enhancing air connectivity, aviation is indispensable for tourism by facilitating convenient transportation of larger numbers of tourists than would be possible in African countries with undeveloped ground infrastructure.. Also, air transport helps raise productivity, by encouraging investment and innovation; improving business operations and efficiency.
Global air traffic has historically doubled every 15 years and is therefore projected to reach 6 billion in 2030. There has been tremendous growth in the African aviation market as well, mirroring the continentís economic success.. An increase in wealth and demand for air travel has seen many airlines in Africa increase or renew their existing fleets. Such increased connectivity across the African continent and improved ease of travel will support and promote economic growth across the region.
However, this high growth also comes with attendant challenges to continuous efforts to further improve the safety, security, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of our air transport system. There are also new emerging issues and challenges such as the safe integration of sub-orbital flights (commercial space travel) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) with the existing civil aviation operational and regulatory framework. The resulting operations will contend with growing environmental pressures; and the need for massive investments in ground infrastructure and air navigation systems.
Africa in particular continues to face several challenges which include real and perceived safety risks. The real risks include the pronounced infrastructure deficit. Compared with countries in other regions, African countries have a low stock of infrastructure, particularly in transportation and energy, while the potential for ICTs) has not been fully harnessed. The perceived safety risks include reference to the European Union Banned List of countries.]
Solutions in the Offing
ICT / TECHNOLOGY, TSAfricaís expertise in ICTs comes in handy in the development of aviation-related ICT solutions.
ICT is a recognized enabler of operational efficiency, transforming communications and controls in our working environment and ultimately helping facilities such as airports to enhance the passenger experience. At the same time, ICT solutions evolve and improve rapidly requiring agile technical management frameworks. Such solutions relevant to aviation include web-services based on existing agreed data definitions around a common semantic model that enable efficient information exchange among different systems operated by airports, airlines and other stakeholders. The services need to be scalable and reusable for different business processes, resulting in significant reduction in complexity, time to market and cost.