(Ecofin Agency) - The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) successfully passed a recent Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) initiated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
During a press conference last week, ECAA’s Deputy Director-General, Shimeles Kebreab, announced the country scored a record grade of 91.78% for the audit. “This is the highest score that we attained and it is the highest grade in Africa,” Shimeles said, emphasizing that Ethiopia outperformed Ghana, Egypt and South Africa.
The test is based on eight ‘crucial’ criteria which include the texts regulating the civil aviation sector; the airworthiness of aircraft; the compliance of aviation security and facilitation equipment; and the profile of technical staff.
As a reminder, when Ethiopia first passed the ICAO USOAP audit in 2006, it scored 65% compliance rate, which was already above the world average, 60%. By 2015, the country had achieved 67%, and 73.2% by 2018.
Despite the crash of the Ethiopian Airline’s Boeing 737MAX aircraft on 10 March 2019 (which killed 157 people), Ethiopian civil aviation remains safe and efficient. The country has an average growth rate of 20% in the air transport sector, both for passengers and freight.