Oct. 30, 2014

Seeking information about how to better support aviation in Africa, and make it more efficient, productive and economical, a 20-member delegation visited NBAA’s Washington, DC headquarters on Oct. 28, after spending three days in Orlando, FL at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014).

Sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the group was scheduled for a 12-day visit to the U.S.

NBAA’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown spent a portion of the delegation’s two-hour visit discussing “ how the United States regulates business aviation and how NBAA engages with all levels of government – local, state, and federal – and the media to improve the safety, security and efficiency of our members’ operations.” He also took questions from the delegation.

The delegates, a mix of government officials and executives involved with aviation operation, service and financing, came from many countries, including: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa. With them was Rady Fahmy, executive director of the African Business Aviation Association, who shared his interest in policymaking that supports safe and secure air travel across the continent.

Having flown in numerous countries during his four visits to Africa over the past 20 years, Brown said he has “pretty good insight to the challenges they face as a developing economy.” With the delegates, he discussed ways African nations could modify their disparate aviation regulations to create a common set of regulations that would better support the industry.

The delegation also discussed pilot and maintenance training, logistics, business aviation development and specific aviation missions, from bush flying to high altitude helicopter rescues. Ebola is dominating U.S. news, said Brown, but the subject only arose briefly in the discussion of security, which ranged from highjacking to health issues.

From Washington, DC, the group planned to head to the Maryland State Police Aviation Command Center and then to the Sikorsky helicopter facility in Pennsylvania. While in Florida, delegates toured Piper Aircraft, and later that week flew to Wichita, KS to visit various Textron Aviation facilities.