African air traffic control to be upgraded following EUR 40m EIB support

4-12-2012 — / — Air traffic control facilities across Africa will be upgraded to international standards, improve safety and reliability and ensure more efficient air transport using a EUR 40 million loan from Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank, to African air traffic control agency ASECNA. This will improve navigation and control systems, meteorological systems and security infrastructure in airspace managed by ASECNA in West Africa, the Atlantic and Madagascar.

The European Investment Bank support for ASECNA was formally signed in Dakar by Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa  and senior representatives of ASECNA.

“Safe and efficient air travel is essential for economic growth and international business activity in Africa. The European Investment Bank is pleased to continue work closely with ASECNA, building on a strong partnership over the last 25 years, to ensure on-going improvement in air safety and air traffic management. This project will particularly benefit intra-African air travel, as well as international flights and flights from Europe to South America through ASECNA airspace.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa.

ASECNA is a multinational air-traffic control agency covering airspace 1.5 times the size of Europe from flight centres in Dakar, Brazzaville, Niamey, N’Djamena and Antananarivo. ASECNA manages 10 regional air traffic control centres, 57 control towers, 25 international and 76 national airports.

Growth in air traffic in ASECNA airspace grew by more than 7% over the last decade, more than the global growth rate. African air travel is expected to continue to growth over coming years and long-term investment planning by ASECNA takes account of this.

The upgrading will replace outdated assets and improve safety, efficiency and air traffic services in all 17 Africa states belonging to ASECNA. Investment by the agency supported by the European Investment Bank support will include improved air traffic management software and radio links, implementation of a secure broadband satellite network, improved runway and approach lighting, better weather radar and aerodrome area weather systems and building renovation. The project is expected to be fully implemented by 2015.

The European Investment Bank has provided EUR 150m since 1988 to support investment by ASECNA. This project to upgrade and improve air traffic control infrastructure is also supported by a EUR 2 million technical assistance grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and a EUR 40 million loan from the French Development Agency, AFD.


Richard Willis
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