NTSB outreach, ‘SAFE SKIES FOR AFRICA’ ,a continent on which the US should be

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Mr. Jones has been an important link to Africa for years

“Safe Skies” Initiative

Africa is a growing aviation market

Thankfully, the Managing Director of the NTSB, Dennis Jones, has been at the forefront of bring the US aviation safety knowledge to Africa. He appears to have started this effort as early as 2007, when he as , a senior NTSB air safety investigator,  was embedded with the Kenyan Air Accident Investigation Department.

He led a team of NTSB investigators and communications specialists to South Africa to share lessons we’ve learned from our accident investigations:

  • Dennis Hogenson, Western Pacific Region Deputy Regional Chief for Aviation Safety, pointed out that, like Africa, the United States is seeing a high incidence of general aviation(GA) crashes.
  • Bill Bramble, a human factors investigator, outlined our investigation processand explained how we examine all factors—machine, human, and environment—to understand an accident and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.
  • Chihoon “Chich” Shin, an NTSB aerospace engineer, addressed helicopter safety.
    • “The metal doesn’t lie,” Shin said. He called for increased awareness of the safety issues affecting helicopter safety and encouraged action from key stakeholders, such as regulatory agencies and helicopter manufacturers and operators, to help reduce accidents and fatalities
  • NTSB communications staff emphasized another side of our work in transportation safety. Stephanie Matonek, a transportation disaster assistancespecialist, discussed the importance of planning for family assistance after an accident occurs.
  • Nicholas Worrell, Chief of the Office of Safety Advocacy, addressed messaging, encouraging attendees to go beyond investigations to teach their safety lessons effectively. 

Our team shared some NTSB strategies with our international counterparts to help them achieve similar outcomes in their region.

The Safe Skies for Africa program, established  by President Clinton April 1, 1998, aims to improve the safety and security of aviation on the continent. The White House press release explained in more detail:

The initiative will focus on conducting safety assessments and security surveys in select countries and formulate action plans together with Africa civil aviation authorities to bring aviation safety and security practices in Africa up to accepted world standards. In the first year, the Department of Transportation will hold four regional conferences with African civil aviation representatives to discuss with them their airports’ needs and how best the U.S. can assist. These conferences will build on those held last October in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and will then be followed by security surveys and safety assessments.

In 2010 Moira (Mo) Keane, FAA Senior Representative, Dakar, made a presentation at an ACI seminar under the Safe Skies Initiative and as part of her introduction recited previous similar efforts:

Here are some posters from subsequent Africa outreach programs (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015):


From the U.S. State Department’s Africa page: U.S. Department of Transportation:  DOT will host up to five workshops in 2016 and direct $1 million toward strengthening civil aviation safety through the Safe Skies for Africa program.  DOT will continue to implement Tomorrow’s Transportation Leaders initiative through a series of workshops and training courses on intermodal transportation planning, regional integration and logistics, safety oversight, and facilitating border-crossings.

The FY2018 APL Business Plan (as well as the plans for other FYs)describes the African goal for that 12 month period:

It must be noted that this somewhat limited aspiration may be driven by budgetary constraints; the listed Targets for Asian Pacific and North East Asia are more robust.

WHY care about Africa:

Exciting Opportunities/Challenges in Africa—add to FAA’s strategic priorities









ICAO’s Infrastructure Forum in Africa points to the US’ focus on aviation on that continent

Is FAA’s Caribbean Focus the Best Choice? Would Africa Have Been A Better Choice?


CANSO, the international organization of navigation services, recently opined:

Safe skies key to Africa’s growth

15 APRIL 2016

Despite the current financial turmoil, the World Bank estimated Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth at 3.7 percent for 2015, with a slight uptick to 4.4 percent and 4.8 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Six African countries feature in the Bank’s list of the 13 economies projected to grow the fastest between 2014 and 2017.

“There’s no doubt that the African growth story remains resilient in the face both of global and continental challenges. However, in order to capitalise on our growth potential, we have to ensure that we have integrated transport solutions in place to promote regional, continental and inter-continental trade,” says Jeoff Motshoba, Executive: Air Traffic Management/ Communications, Navigation and Surveillance at Air Traffic & Navigation Services (ATNS). “Aviation, in particular, has a critical role to play in providing the kind of infrastructure that a competitive modern economy needs.”

A commercial source, AviaAM Leasing, expressed the following forecast:

The African commercial air travel market represents massive amounts of untouched opportunity for new airlines. According to the data from IATA, Africa is home to 16% of the world’s population but it accounts for only 2.20% of the global air service market. With a clear need for air travel and a demand for more quality airlines, the African continent is emerging from under the radar and making gains to increase its total market share.

“The reputation of African Airlines and the complicated cross border political matters have been a hot topic of discussions for many years, however, with a new generation new opportunities are presenting themselves to completely rework the image of Africa in the international air travel industry. This new growth of the industry will fulfill the growing passenger demand while establishing control functions to ensure safety in the air and positive return on investments,” says Mantas Meizneris, Vice President Sales of AviaAM Leasing…

American aviation interests appreciate the work of Managing Director of the NTSB, Dennis Jones for keeping the American Flag in Africa.














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