Rwanda is hosting the 27th East African consultative meeting on the facilitation of air transport in order to improve the regional air transport.
The two day event was attended by Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda while Burundi was the only East Africa member state that was absent.
“Rwanda recognizes the noble responsibilities of the many stakeholders involved in ensuring the facilitation of international air transport,” said Vincent Karega the Minister of Infrastructure.
The major objectives of this meeting include visiting selected airports in the region and advising them where improvement is required as well as sharing experiences across the region.
The minister also explained the importance of improving air transport for Rwanda saying, “since tourism and direct foreign investment (FDIs) significantly contribute to Rwanda’s national economy and that of EAC region, the government regards air transport which is a big facilitator of tourism and FDIs as a strategic industry.”
The first meeting of this kind was held in Kenya in 1993 and some of the that were discussed included the need for facilitating international civil aviation, entry and departure of aircrafts, entry and departure of passengers and their baggage among others.
Simplification of VISA requirements and public health requirements at entry points are some of the other issues that the meeting is going to address.
Air transport operators in the country include Rwandair, SN Brussels, Kenya airways and Ethiopian airlines while Uganda airline is expected to start operations very soon.
From the previous meeting, recommendations were made regarding the facilitation of the air transport these included harmonization of charge fees within the region, the meeting also urged immigration chiefs to continue working out modalities that will popularize the east African passport.
States were also urged to continue with efforts of simplification and standardization of customs requirements and procedures.