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AVI Afrique Demos Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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By peter oluka

The recent AVI Afrique Africa Innovation Summit held at CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria once again featured as the leading aviation event in South Africa, attracting hundreds of delegates from all over the continent and beyond.

Under the theme “In Africa. For Africa. By Africa”, the summit facilitated a platform for the African aviation industry to engage around innovation and improvements in the industry and acted as an exploratory infrastructure development tool for the participation of small and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the aviation market across the continent.

“Collaboration throughout Africa, to ensure a sustainable market, is the key focus of this event,” said Thabani Mthiyane, CEO of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), hosts of the summit.

Global overview of safety

Barry Kashambo, regional director ICAO Eastern and Southern African Office, was the guest speaker on the first day.

He has been in the international civil aviation community for over 30 years and comes from a background of aircraft maintenance engineering and flight safety standards. Kashambo has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority in Uganda as an Airworthiness surveyor/Inspector and Accident Investigator for 21 years. He has also served as an aviation safety officer for the UN MONUSCO, performing oversight and accident/incident investigation for the biggest UN fleet, at that time.

His experience in the sector, coupled with the various positions held across the globe, enabled Kashambo to give a worldly view on the sector and how to ensure valuable, consistent development.

Upper airspace panel discussion

“ICAO’s ‘No Country Left Behind’ campaign: Effective implementation of Safety, Security, Infrastructure Development, Technology Innovation and Environmental Sustainability was discussed at length. The panelist looked at what can be done to harmonise the effectiveness of this objective by the States and/or Air Navigation Service Providers.

Top award for UAV

Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) sponsored the AVI Awards for 2017. At the evening awards function, Mark Van Wyk walked away with the top Innovation Award, renamed the OR Tambo Cumulus Award, for his prototype UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that will become the first hydrogen powered aircraft, fully developed in South Africa.

Van Wyk, founder of the company FlyH2 Aerospace and his partner, OnnoHuyser, are developing a large, fixed-wing unmanned aircraft for survey and environmental research purposes. The aircraft will be powered by novel miniaturised hydrogen fuel cells designed, prototyped and trialled by TIA seed fund recipients at the University of Cape Town, HySA Catalysis.

Innovator in STEM

On day two, delegates listened to Soweto-born Mr Nthatho Moagi, a young emerging innovator who designed a Low Cost Educational Robotics Toy (LCERT) kit developed to provide learners and educators wit affordable access to educational resources in their Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) classrooms. His company, CRSP design, was established to commercialise his invention. Named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans of 2017, Moagi is highly focused on empowering SMMEs in the innovation sector.

Black Hornet launch

As the summit ended, the world’s smallest, most capable personal reconnaissance system, the Black Hornet, was launched by Desert Wolf Consulting.

The drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), is an American military equipment aircraft that can fly without a pilot, relying solely on its autonomy which allows for it to be controlled by remote control or by a human operator. The Black Hornet’s small size and electric motors makes it virtually inaudible and invisible once airborne.

The system will be only available to military, police and government clients in South Africa, with local support and training. South Africa’s first female military drone instructor, trained by the manufacturer in Norway, is already training another Black Hornet pilot in South Africa.

At 18 grams, the Black Hornet is inherently safe, organic and covert. Despite its small size, the Black Hornet provides live motion video and snapshots back to the operator. The system can be delivered with both day/ lowlight and night vision cameras, covering a 24/7 operational requirement.

“There is no doubt that innovation within the aviation sector is of utmost importance, not only to ensure competitiveness across the sector, but also to enhance and advance the industry with a focus on safety and security. As the transport of people and cargo across countries, continents and time zones becomes increasingly complex, airlines, airport owners, operators and investors are challenged to adapt and provide efficient aviation solutions,” continues Mthiyane

“This event was again a resounding success and it was important that we gathered some of the greatest minds to engage on how we could work together to elevate the African aviation market and ensure the participation of African SMMEs on this journey,”concludes Mthiyane.

 

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Nigeria to Earn N3.63B From Domestic Tourism By End of 2018, Hospitality Report Says

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L-R: Christian Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager - Air Peace; Muda Yusuf, DG, LCCI; Ikechi Uko, Founder & Publisher - Akwaaba Travel Market; Omolara Adagunodo, MD - Jumia Travel Nigeria; Chris Odor, GM - Westwood Hotel; Olukayode Kolawole, Head of PR - Jumia Nigeria at the launch of the 3rd edition of the Nigeria Hospitality Report in Lagos.

Nigerian domestic tourism sector is expected to contribute N3.63 billion to the country’s GDP by the end of 2018.

 

This was contained in a 2018 Nigeria hospitality report released on Tuesday by Jumia Travel.

 

 

According to the report number of international arrivals in the country and employments generated by the sector are expected to grow by 1.5% and 3.4% respectively by end of year, that is 1.8 million international arrivals and 3.4 million jobs.

 

Omolara Adagunodo, managing director, Jumia Travel Nigeria, stated this while overviewing the content of the 2018 Nigeria hospitality report at a press conference in Lagos.

 

The report also provided insight on the two main components of domestic travel: leisure and business travel, and both grew at 2.7% and 2.8%, that is 1.98 billion and 1.92 billion contributions respectively to domestic earnings in 2017.

 

Ikechi Uko, Founder Akwaaba Travel Market and Tourism expert, commended Jumia Travel effort in compiling the report, said “the data and figures featured in the report can massively expand the footprint of the Nigeria travel industry and take it to the next level.”

 

While announcing that Nigeria will soon subscribe to the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is the internationally recognized standard statistical framework for the economic measurement of tourism, Uko urged stakeholders within the sector to support and rely on the data in reports such as Jumia Travel’s.

 

 

Uko also decried the challenges plaguing the sector, as identified in the report, such as insufficient flights.

 

He said: “the number of flight pairs in Nigeria is very low. Lagos and Abuja are already saturated because almost all airlines want to fly there.

 

“As such, we need more flights to cut across the country because the travel industry cannot grow without a functional air transport network.”

 

 

The Nigeria Hospitality Report from the stables of Jumia Travel is fast becoming a primary source of data for the experts and stakeholders in the travel industry as it offers a profound and holistic insight into the industry that accounted for 1.9% of total GDP as a direct contribution, and 5.1% as a total contribution to GDP.

 

 

In monetary terms, the sector contributed approximately N2.3 billion to the GDP as a direct contribution, and N6.2 billion as a total contribution to the GDP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkish Airlines Signs Global Agreement with American Express Global Business Travel

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Turkish Airlines signed a significant deal with American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), one of the world’s leading agencies for corporate travel.

This agreement which was signed by Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı, and Amex GBT’s Board Chairman, Greg O’Hara, highlights the expansion of Turkish Airlines’ existing collaboration with AMEX to a global partnership.

The global carrier in addition to other regions has added the South American region, to the new joint service area with Amex GBT.

Turkish Airlines will become one of the airlines to be supported by Amex GBT at the top level, within the scope of this expanded agreement.

The agreement is aimed at determining a common strategy on a global level and increasing the cooperation between the managements of both parts at all levels.

Another goal at this point is to increase the cooperation in product development and sales for “Marine & Offshore”, “Travel and Lifestyle Services” (TLS), and “Meeting & Events” segments.

Other objectives include: promotion of Turkish Airlines’ brand awareness and perception within Amex GBT organization, as well as top level participation in all global events organized by Amex GBT, increasing the visibility of Turkish Airlines in Amex GBT’s communication channels, acquiring new corporate customers through the joint data analysis studies, and also the promotion of sales activities are all the other subjects to be improved within this new business partnership.

Commenting on the agreement M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee said; “As Turkish Airlines, we are very pleased to enter such an important business partnership with Amex GBT.

With this new agreement, which was existed on a regional scale and now expanded to global, we aim to increase our market share also in the corporate travel segment and to be the most preferred airline for all business travellers worldwide.”

Amex GBT, considered as one of the largest global agencies in the sector, has more than 100 years of experience in corporate travel.

The global agency, which aims to make the business travels much easier, productive and less stressful, both in terms of suppliers and travelers, serves in nearly 140 countries around the world, with 12,000 employees, to 8,000 customers.

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Air Peace operates first all-female flights Crew

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Air Peace has said it will commence four-sector flights on the Lagos-Abuja, Abuja-Owerri, Owerri-Abuja and Abuja-Lagos routes with an historic all female flight and cabin crew members on Thursday.

 

Mr Chris Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, announced this in a statement  on Wednesday in Lagos.

 

Iwarah said the development was coming days after Air Peace gave command to Mrs Sinmisola Ajibola, who made history as the airline’s first female captain, who was decorated with her new rank by the airline’s Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema.

 

He noted that the flight was planned in honour of Ajibola’s achievement, a testament to Air Peace’s avowed commitment to gender equality and promotion of Nigerian women in aviation.

 

“Although women occupy most of Air Peace’s top positions, Ajibola’s elevation is a great milestone in our effort to build the capacity of women in the cockpit.

 

“Ajibola, who will be in command of the four-leg flight, will be assisted in the cockpit by Senior First Officer, Quincy Owen,” Iwarah said.

 

According to him, the all-female crew flight, scheduled to take off from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 1.10 p.m. is estimated to arrive to a water salute at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 2.20 p.m.

 

Ethiopian Airlines had on Dec. 16, 2017 operated its first all female flight from Addis Ababa to Nigeria.

 

The Boeing 777 aircraft, which was piloted by Amsale Gualu, landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 1.16 p.m. to the admiration of aviation stakeholders and other dignitaries.

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