Establishment of regulatory framework and agency for the COMESA Unified Single Upper Airspace



NTU successfully implemented the COMESA Airspace Integration project - Consultancy Services for establishment of regulatory framework and agency for COMESA unified single upper airspace, financed by the African Development Bank and with a budget of USD 899.776,4.

This project was implemented between 2015 and 2016 with the objective to develop a framework for formulation and harmonization of safety, economic, environmental and performance policies and regulations, and to build the initial capacity of the multilateral regulatory agencies of the unified airspace.

How we did it

For the establishment of Regulatory Framework and Agency for COMESA Unified Single Upper Airspace, NTU acquired an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the institutional models of aviation in each Member State, including the degree of independence of air navigation institutions, through review of relevant documentation, assessment and evaluation. A specific analysis of international benchmarks in airspace integration was conducted, identifying constraints and best practices applicable to the COMESA programme. This analysis focused on organisational and political aspects, as well as technology, operations and safety.

set of recommendations to take further steps towards an effective regional legal and regulatory framework for safety was prepared. These recommendations were presented and discussed with representatives of the Member States at the 2nd Joint Workshop and 5th Project Steering Committee Meeting held in Zimbabwe on 18th-23th July 2016. Recommendations on the most viable legal instrument for the implementation of the framework and the main aspects to be taken into account for the success of this initiative were presented. These included recommendations in relation to the signature of the agreement, the enforcement mechanisms, the development of rules and decision-making processes, and the awareness-raising and training concerned.


The services implemented by NTU within this project contributed to the establishment of the COMESA Unified Single Upper Airspace Safety Regulatory Framework, aligning the Member States with ICAO recommendations, in particular from a safety and performance perspective. They have facilitated the implementation of a seamless airspace system coordinated at the regional level, that copes with worldwide growth in air traffic demand.

Extract from the Presentation for Establishment of a Cooperative Legal and Institutional Regional Framework for a Unified Single Upper Airspace in the COMESA Region.

Joint Workshop, Rwanda 2016