The “Safe Skies for Africa Program” was initiated by US President Clinton in 1998. The goals are to improve safety, security and air navigation in sub-Saharan Africa.
The goals are to be achieved by USA assisting selected states and regional organizations in Africa. Namibia is one of the states in the program.
There is also hopes that the program will improve air services between US and Africa to facilitate increased trade, attract investment and grow African tourism industry.
Security is the essential element of the program and one initiative is this. FAA is providing instructors for free in a course for “Safety Management Systems (SMS) theory and application”.
This year FAA provided free SMS training in Johannesburg, South Africa 22 January to 1 February and in Windhoek, Namibia 19 February to 1 March. Next up is in Maputo, Mozambique 19-29 March.
I attended the training in Windhoek where the Directorate of Civil Aviation acted as the host and provided a very good venue at the “Roof of Africa”.
The training was very well organized; mixing lectures with PowerPoint presentations, movies giving examples from real events and exercises where we were working in groups.
During the exercises we were asked to act as air operators, service providers or oversight administrators and analyse situations using the new knowledge we were given.
We also spent time drafting our own SMS manual.
The course is pragmatic and truly focused on giving the trainees a foundation for achievements.
Everyone attending the training have been given good conditions to go home to their organization and make a change.
The last day ended with an examination ceremony. Maimuna Taal-Ndure was our master of ceremonies and doing it very well.
There was a speech by the acting Director of Civil Aviation, Ms Angeline Simana-Paulo
Everyone got on stage to receive a diploma and a round of applause.
From left Ms. Clarissa Renner, FAA course administrator, the Director, yours truly, Mr. Bill Orr, FAA instructor with a background in Air Traffic Control, Mr. Steve Lightner, FAA instructor with a background in the American oil industry and Mr. Alfonso Escobar, the ICAO project coordinator in Namibia and organizer of the SMS training in Windhoek.
Thanks a lot to everyone involved. I had a really good time and I learned a lot!
Hi Anders, thanks for the compliments and the publicity! I’m at the FAA HQ in Washington, and I work with the FAA Academy, the instructors, the civil aviation authorities and COSCAP SADC to arrange for the training in Southern Africa. The photos are great, and I’m pleased to know that the students find the training beneficial. Thanks again for the kind words.
Foreign Affairs Specialist, East & Southern Africa
FAA International Affairs