Written by Nelly Niyonzima – Executive Editor, Winguafric
Aviation has taken a leap forward with the neo- industrialization where manufacturers need to find new markets while on the other hand countries are introducing models designed to boost economy. Here, Tanzania has begun building its own helicopters that will be taking to the skies soon. This project is the latest in the region. In a report by Daily news, the country’s made two-seater chopper is in its finishing stages of production and will start experimental flying once it is granted permission by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.
This is a good idea because building a local aircraft is a great innovation. It is an on spot educational experience, whether the air craft is built by an individual or by a group. The modular construction requires minimal workshop space. The necessary skills to assemble the airframe are very simple. It is clean with low-hazards – working with basic sheet metal does not expose participants to toxins, and glues or epoxies. Conventional materials which are readily available are mostly used. Blueprints, drawings, parts and kits are owned by the individual projects and can be ameliorated – Most manufacturers do not offer blueprints of their designs unless assembled with assembly instructions.
By grasping the opportunity, Tanzania has made a commitment to expanding learning opportunities available to educational institutions. Arusha Technical College’s department of mechanical engineering established back in 1978 initiated the program, so as to build inexpensive choppers for Tanzanians to ease the country’s transport agony.
The engineer behind the ATC chopper project Mr Abdi Mjema explain that, “We are complementing President Magufuli’s industrialization policy in pioneering the first locally-made helicopters that will be available to ordinary residents at affordable prices,”
The program was initiated two months ago with the aim of using the chopper for surveillance, rescue and agricultural purposes, but remodeled to transport people.
Global Business Perspective
With Europe and North America business relatively in an Era of stagnation, the aviation industry is shifting to other parts of the world for growth, and nowhere is growing faster than Africa. An economic explosion in the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral reserves is encouraging a need for a flourish in corporate aviation, not only to support internal operations, but also to bring in the executives from overseas who represent a major increase in private investment into the continent.
Africa represents significant opportunities for the whole of the business aviation world, from Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) through operators and flight-support companies to the A fixed-base operator (FBOs), ground handlers and fuel suppliers. However, the continent presents a unique set of challenges arising from the relative newness of the corporate aviation world. The varying but mostly unwelcoming terrain, and the great distances between most destinations is a setback. Also, there is a general unequipped infrastructure within airports in Africa where more than 75 percent have runways that are too short or lack sufficient facilities to accommodate for instance jet operations. There are myriad cultural levels that pose many differences between the nations and constantly pose the uneven nature of the regulatory environment in the continent. While civil aviation authorities (CAAs) in most developed countries foster a cooperative relationship, minimal or none exists in Africa. Too, it will take a while dealing with the outside perception of Africa’s poor safety record. While financial institutions are still cautious when generally financing aircraft projects in Africa, insurance premiums that are higher in the continent than elsewhere carry the day. In an effort to tackle the above mentioned issues, the newly created African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) has set its goal to address these issues.
AfBAA Upcoming Conference at EBACE 2016
AfBAA has organized the first annual meeting, set to take place this year on 17 and 18 November in Cape Town, South Africa. The aim is appeal to an international audience ready to discover more about the latest business aviation developments in this African sector.
Rady Fahmy, CEO of the Association explains that, “Africa’s operating environment offers great scope for unmanned aerial vehicles. The applications and opportunities are immense, and it’s an area that affects business aviation operations in a number of ways. This is why we’ve chosen to launch the annual RPAS Forum as part of the AfBAC event,”
Hopefully, by offering a variety of communication channels, AfBAC will fulfill the mission of promoting understanding and benefits of business aviation in Africa. It is to bring the world to Africa and Africa to the world. Most importantly, is to accommodate those different needs of its members, both within Africa and across the globe. AfBAC has the responsibility to deal with the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the growth of business aviation.
South Africa is leading in most active business aviation sectors in the continent. With the spectacular coastal position, excellent infrastructure system and convenient travel connections, Cape Town has one of the largest general aviation communities and therefore, best proposal for the inaugural of AfBAC.