On 27th November, 2016, Arusha city was host to the EAC – China Electronic technology Corporation (CETC) High Forum. The EAC has established an Upper Flight Information Region (UFIR) as a single bloc over the Partner States airspace that will be operated from a single operations centre. This will make the region safer for investment and multinational markets.
China has benefited the international community in development projects and has been contributing to various countries of the developing world in the development of infrastructure. During the BRIC Summit that was held in South Africa, China announced a development plan for Africa that is worth billions of dollars. One of the areas earmarked for development is aviation. China has actively participated in the development of aviation in EAC and is looking towards the establishment of a sustainable aviation industry, thus the proposal to establish an EAC Joint ATM Laboratory.
The 27th November meeting was a great opportunity for CETC to meet with leaders of EAC and Partner States’ CAAs. CETC was established by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) to develop both civil and military electronics. It is the main manufacturer and research company of electronic devices in China. For the first time, CETC this year entered into an agreement with the government of PRC to supply its products outside China. It has so far successfully exported its products to USA, Latin America and Asia. It has become the leading enterprise in aviation technology in PRC with corporation of CAAC. CETC played a leading role in the development of ATM in PRC. In 2004 – 2006, China and Europe developed an ATM platform. Last November 2015, CETC signed a co-operation agreement with Kenya. It is now looking forward to co-operation with the other EAC Partner States in the next 2 – 3 years. An important activity of this Forum is the signing of the EAC Joint ATM Laboratory Agreement. CETC plans to train African States in the ATM Laboratory for the development of ATM, and will eventually invest in establishment of an ATM academy in the next 5 years. CETC will recruit local experts as well for the running of this Academy which will perform research, maintenance of Next Generation ATM equipment.
During the meeting, the acting Director of KCAA ANS, Mr. Wesechere, gave a brief overview on the status of ATM in EAC Partner States. Participants were informed that Airspace classifications are unique in each State. Kenya and Uganda have made formal arrangements on special, joint, flexible use of their airspace. Traffic operating above FL 245 is more than that operating below FL 245. All Partner States except Burundi have HF. Kenya has AMHS and AIM automation while other PS are in the process of implementation.
At the end of the meeting, an EAC Joint ATM Laboratory Agreement between Kenya and China was signed, where the laboratory will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya.
CASSOA congratulates the EAC Partner States and CETC on this great achievement.