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The countdown is on!

Speakers

     
 

Adefunke Adeyemi
Secretary General, AFCAC

Adefunke is a lawyer, advocate and global aviation expert. She was appointed to her current role with AFCAC in July having previously been regional director, advocacy & strategic relations for Africa at IATA.
Recently recognised by the UN as one of the 200 globally most influential people of African descent, she is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, and was a barrister at the Nigeria Supreme Court. She is a catalyst of change, a transformative thought leader and influencer, and passionate about sustainability and growth of the aviation industry across the region and actively promotes Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced air connectivity across the continent.

 
 

     
 

Kamil Al Alwadi
Regional VP for Africa & Middle East, IATA

Kamil represents IATA in 68 countries, serving 57 airlines across AME. He leads the execution of IATA’s priorities for the region and advocates on behalf of the airline industry to continuously improve safety levels, to enhance connectivity particularly across Africa, to reduce costs for airlines and to ensure the sustainability of air transport.

Prior to joining IATA in 2021, Kamil was the CEO of Kuwait Airways and held various key positions at the airline in the areas of safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning over his 31-year career in the aviation industry.

 
 

     
 

H.E. Akbar Al Baker
Group CEO, Qatar Airways Group

His Excellency Akbar Al Baker is one of the most recognisable figures in the global aviation industry. Born in Doha, he is a graduate in economics and commerce and worked at various levels in the civil aviation directorate before becoming Qatar Airways’ CEO in 1997.

The airline operated just four aircraft prior to his appointment. It currently flies more than 200 to more than 150 destinations across six continents and has been named ‘World’s best airline’ by Skytrax six times in the past decade.

 
 

     
 

Ivana Alvares-Marshall
Founder and governor of the African Section 99s

Born and raised in Malawi, Ivana has been flying for 20 years. She overcame a tragedy, aged 17,  losing her best friend in an aircraft crash when learning to fly. She gained her private pilot licence in Malawi, then went to South Africa to obtain a commercial pilot licence (CPL). Thereafter, she gained Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency qualifications. She has always flown in the corporate sector, piloting a Learjet 45, Cessna Citation Bravo Jet, and recently working for a private bank in Malawi on the King Air B200.

 
 

     
 

Omar Arekat
Vice President, Commercial Sales and Marketing, Middle East & Africa, Boeing

Arkat oversees the sales of the company’s portfolio of commercial airplanes and related services in the region. Prior to this assignment, he served as Boeing’s senior sales executive in the Middle East for more than 10 years.  He joined Boeing in 1997 as a customer configuration engineer, supporting accounts in Europe. Before promotion to regional director of Airplane Economics supporting a wide range of commercial airplane sales campaigns across the globe before becoming the regional director of Marketing for customer accounts in the Middle East and Africa.

 
 

     
 

Jenifer Bamuturaki
Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Airlines   

With over 20 years of experience in leadership, commercial, sales & marketing roles in the aviation, travel and hospitality industries, she brings a wealth of technical expertise and a proven track record in delivering on the organization’s key objectives. She’s been involved in setting up commercial divisions of  airlines and hotels. Through these projects, she has had active and forefront involvement in research and development, recruitment processes, budget implementation, strategic planning and numerous deliverables in sales and marketing.
 
 

     
 

Abdérahmane Berthé
Secretary General, African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

A native of Mali, he has 29 years’ experience in the airline industry, serving on many influential committees and governing bodies during that time. Before joining Air Burkina in 2013, he built his career, both in Europe and Africa, working in positions such as aircraft performance and dispatch engineering, maintenance and operations quality and ground operations. He had a total of 16 years’ CEO experience before joining AFRAA.

 
 

     
 

Paul Chen
Managing director, VX Consulting

Paul has multi-disciplinary experience across the aviation value chain, from commercial and business aircraft OEMs, airlines, and MRO to business intelligence. Iconic global brands to have benefited from his creativity and versatility include United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Bombardier, Gulfstream, OAG, Aviation Week and GE. He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Purdue University (US), and a Master of Science with honours in aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas (US). Based in Chicago, VX Consulting helps clients improve passenger experience and operational efficiency through holistic use of data analytics.

 
 

     
 

Neil Cloughley
Chief Executive Officer and founder, Faradair Aerospace Limited

Formed in 2014, Faradair® has been a pioneer of the new sustainable aviation sector with Neil being widely regarded as an expert within Regional Air Mobility and sustainable flight.

With over 15 years of experience within the commercial aviation industry, working with some of the largest aviation brands and financial institutions, Neil formed Faradair® to make sustainable flight a daily transport option for all, via a unique aircraft concept called the BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft).

The company has won several awards and is based on the iconic Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, UK.

 
 

     
 

Hussein Dabbas
General Manager – Africa & Middle East, Embraer/Commercial Aviation

Before joining Embraer, Hussein spent four years as IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa & Middle East based in Amman – Jordan. His responsibilities included working with airline Executives and Directors of Civil Aviation to push for a more secure and safe industry through the implementation of the IATA safety standards.
Prior to joining IATA, Hussein spent three years as President and CEO of Royal Jordanian Airlines having spent over thirty years with the airline in senior roles, including Vice President Commercial and Services and Regional Director for the USA.

 
 

     
 

Sémou Diouf
Director JPO, SatNav Africa

SatNav’s JPO programme is a Pan-African entity under Africa-EU Strategy framework which is championing and supporting Satellite Navigation services (GNSS/SBAS)

With a wide range of qualifications and extensive experience in technical and business fields, he has been involved in technology innovation projects and business development in the aeronautics sector in Africa since the early 90’s.

Prior to joining the JPO, he held various roles including Director, Commercial Operations and Ag. Regional VP, SITA Africa in Paris and Johannesburg, then as Head of a Department in Aeronautics, Space and Defense Sector in Toulouse, France.

 
 

     
 

Cherif Fall
SVP Africa Operations, Menzies Aviation

Cherif Fall, an aviation industry expert, is the SVP Operations - Africa for Menzies Aviation - the world leader in aviation services. In his previous role, Cherif served as General Manager, Ivory Coast at National Aviation Services (NAS) which was combined with Menzies Aviation following an acquisition by NAS’s parent company, Agility.

 
 

     
 

Antonio Ficca
Director/Head of Product and Technology Insights, Mitsubishi Aero Advisory

Antonio and his team are responsible for providing the MHI group and Commercial Aviation 3rd parties (Airlines, Lessors and Financial institutions, Airports, OEMs) with insights on market trends & dynamics, analytical projections & forecasts, competitive assessments and business strategies. Most recently, they have focused on sustainability and advanced air mobility projects.

 

Antonio has 20 years in commercial aviation, 60% at Bombardier 30% in Engineering Service Providers and Interiors OEMs, 10% in a Strategic Advisory role, holding technical, program management and marketing leadership roles.

 
 

     
 

Sanjeev S Gadhia
Founder and CEO, Astral Aviation

Astral Aviation, is a dedicated all-cargo airline based in Nairobi, Kenya, which operates a fleet of seven cargo aircraft into Europe and within Africa and has been one of the most successful airlines in Africa for 17 years. A banker by profession, he has a bachelor and a master’s degree in business administration from the Schiller International University in London. He was appointed vice-chairman of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) cargo taskforce in September 2016 and is a member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) board.

 
 

     
 

James Geldenhuys
Head of Nedbank CIB aircraft finance business

Geldenhuys has 36 years’ experience in South African banking, spending the last 28 working in structured finance. He has held senior positions at both ABSA and Nedbank, with particular experience in international tax structured finance and African oil industry transactions. Since 2001, he has had a special interest in aircraft leasing and, in 2008, he established Nedbank’s aircraft finance business. He also served for five years as a non-executive director on a regional airline board. He holds specialist qualifications from the University of Johannesburg and Gordon Institute of Business Science.

 
 

     
 

Chloe Greenbank
Editor, Regional Gateway

Greenbank wrote her first airline magazine article nearly two decades ago and has been immersed in aviation magazines ever since.
Having lived in Rwanda and then worked with one of the world’s leading travel media companies, she has a particular focus on Africa. She has launched a number of in-flight titles for airlines and cites landing in the cockpit of a 737 in the middle of Central Africa as a career highlight.
She joined HMG Aerospace in 2017 as editor of Regional Gateway, which has enabled her to report on the global airport community. She contributes to African Aerospace.

 
 

     
 

Randal L. Heisey
Managing Director Commercial Marketing – MEA & RCA, Boeing

Appointed to this role in 2020, Randy leads the team responsible for commercial airplanes and services marketing throughout these two regions.

Prior to his current assignment, he led the similar team responsible for commercial airplanes and services marketing in the Asia Pacific region having previously served as a Regional Marketing Director in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Chile, and the USA.
Prior to Boeing, he was a Simulator Instructor at Alaska Airlines, flew for United Airlines. Having begun his aviation career in the United States Air Force.

 
 

     
 

Corrin Higgs
Environment & Sustainability Marketing Director, Airbus


Corrin Higgs joined Airbus in the UK in 1997 as an engineer, subsequently working from France and Dubai.  Various marketing and product development roles have enabled him to share the voice of diverse customers within Airbus, particularly those from Africa, Middle East and Asia.
Corrin’s current role once again requires him to communicate externally and internally, promoting understanding of the rapidly evolving subject of sustainability, with a particular focus on our industry’s big challenge: decarbonisation
.

 
 

     
 

Andy James
Aviation Consulting Specialist, Marsh Advisory UK&I

Joined Marsh in November 2021, having previously worked in the British Army as a helicopter pilot/instructor. Has flown both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, (B737, A320, A330, A340 and A380).  Previous training Captain on the A380 and pilot recruitment specialist for Emirates Airline. Currently flying as a Captain on the A320.

Aviation consulting specialist, acting as an SME in the advisory team for flight operational needs within Marsh.

Operated around the globe in many diverse management, consulting and hands-on aviation roles.

 
 

     
 

Edward Jancewicz
Sales Director – Asia & Africa, Callington

A sales professional with a Chemical Engineering background, Edward has been with Callington for over 10 years.  He has been managing Callington’s business in Africa for almost 8 years, and most recently focusing on developing new products and working closely with African carriers and regulating bodies to improve aircraft hygiene and disease control.
Callington are specialty chemical manufacturers focusing on the global aviation & biosecurity markets.

 
 

     
 

Manny Kanabe
Founder, Aviation Partners Africa

Manny is a senior seasoned CFO and global aviation expert. He has been involved in the founding and restructuring of several airlines including Nigeria Air, Virgin Nigeria, Air Malta, easyJet and fly Sama.

He is the founder of Aviation Partners Africa, an African focused aviation advisory firm, which was founded to bridge the aviation gap in Africa.

Manny acts as aviation analyst on leading news networks including BBC News and CNBC Africa. He is also a regular speaker and moderator at African aviation conferences and events, a guest lecturer on the MSC Course in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University.

 
 

     
 

Barry Kashambo
Regional Director, ESAF Office, ICAO

The former executive director of the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA), Barry Kashambo boasts of a rich and extensive professional experience in civil aviation that stretches back to when he worked for the Civil Aviation Authority in Uganda as a senior airworthiness inspector.

He joined the United Nations as safety officer before moving on to CASSOA, a role he held until his current appointment.

 
 

     
 

Allan Kilavuka
Group MD & CEO, Kenya Airways

Allan has over 23 years of working experience, He is currently the Group MD & CEO at Kenya Airways, having previously held that position at Jambojet. He started his career at Deloitte and then General Electric Company where he held various senior leadership positions in their Sub Saharan Africa businesses before joining Jambojet. He has extensive experience in strategy, business development, business process improvement, financial leadership and strategy, people leadership, offshoring, controllership & compliance, business start-ups, process design and Financial Planning & Analysis. He has operated throughout Africa and has vast experience in doing business in Africa.

 
 

     
 

Simon Knechtli
Executive Director Aerospace, WTW

Simon Knechtli joined WTW in June 2014 as a member of the leadership executive. His 32-year career in the aviation insurance broking industry included 27 years at Aon, where he rose through the ranks to become chairman of its aviation division from 2009. He is recognised as having a keen focus on airlines in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, with a more recent broader experience in Asia.

 
 

     
 

James Larson
Director – International Sales, Boeing

Based in Seattle, Washington, James’s role is to support commercial aircraft operators in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to his current sales assignment, he worked for more than six years as a Contracts Regional Director supporting the sale of aircraft to customers in Russia, the Middle East, Europe and China and to aircraft lessors. Before joining Boeing, James worked for United Airlines in Chicago, Illinois where he was Sr. Manager of Fleet Strategy and Planning. James holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the MIT.
 
 

     
 


Daniel Lefebvre
President, UGAACO and General Manager, AERCO

After 20 years in the tourism industry in France, Lefebvre switched to the airport business aged 40.

He has held four airport management positions since 1999 – in Dijon, France; Mayotte, France; Saint Martin, French West Indies; and, most recently, in Libreville, Gabon, where he has managed the three airports of the concession (Brazzaville, Pointe Noire and Ollombo). He is president of the Union of Central and West African Airport Managers (UGAACO), a member of the Executive Committee of ACI Africa. And Aviation Director of Egis Airport Operation.

 
 

     
 

Frédéric Legrand
Senior project manager, FoxLima Consult

Frédéric was an air traffic controller (ATCO) at the French Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC). He managed ATCO instructor training at Toulouse Airport and the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC). He worked for the DGAC research-and-development division to coordinate activities related to ACAS/TCAS incidents, as well as development of future airborne separation applications. He was appointed head of air traffic control centre in Guadeloupe, French West Indies and then managed the ICAO’s African flight procedure programme (AFPP), hosted by ASECNA in Dakar, Senegal to assist African states in performance-based navigation (PBN) flight procedures implementation.

 
 

     
 

Dawit Lemma
Founder and CEO of Krimson Aviation

Lemma has been running aviation support services company, Krimson Aviation, based in Ethiopia and Switzerland, since 2015. He has over 20 years’ knowledge of the aviation sector across four continents, with a cache of notable experience garnered at leading companies, including TAG Aviation, Emirates Airlines, MAF, and Ethiopian Airlines, to name but a few. He served on the executive committee of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) as director of membership and events and is currently president of the Ethiopian chapter and an advisor to the AfBAA board.

 
 

     
 

Elze Le Roux
Senior Vice President, Leasing and Customer Relationships, ACIA Aero Leasing Group

Elze joined the ACIA Aero Group of Companies in 2004 and is part of the key leadership team for the group and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a Business Commerce degree with Honours specialising in Human Resource Management from the University of Pretoria. Her experience includes various senior level executive positions in the IT and Aviation sector.
 
 

     
 

Yvonne Manzi Makolo
CEO, RwandAir

Yvonne Manzi Makolo was appointed RwandAir’s CEO in April 2018. She joined the carrier in April 2017 as deputy CEO in charge of corporate affairs.
Previously, she worked with MTN Rwanda, the largest communication company in the country, as the chief marketing officer and briefly as the acting CEO.
She brings over 11 years of commercial experience to her current position.
With a fleet of 12 aircraft serving 26 destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, RwandAir is one of the fastest-growing airlines in Africa.

 
 

     
 

Edmund Makona
Chief Operating Officer, UTD Aviation Solutions USA

Edmund is also  a member of the Board of Directors of Air Zimbabwe. An international aviation consultant and former Chief Executive Officer of Air Zimbabwe, his aviation career spans over 38 years and he is an award winner of the the Zimbabwe Top Business Leader of the year Award 2015 (Air Travel Services Industry) and the 2015 Zimbabwe National Leadership Award for Special Recognition for Turnaround Strategies – Megafest Business Awards.

 

 
 

     
 

Ingabire Muziga Mamy
Managing Director, Charis Unmanned Aerial Solutions Ltd

Charis UAS Ltd is the leading UAV (Drone) and Data Analytic Company based in Rwanda and operating in 6 other African countries. Ingabire is also the Vice Chairperson of Rwanda ICT Chamber and a member of the Board of Directors of Africa Goes Digital Inc. She has immensely contributed to providing Innovative technologies to tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by the continent in various sectors such as in health, agriculture, infrastructure and energy through the use of drone (UAVs) imagery and advanced data analytics for intelligent decision making.
 
 

     
 

Aymeric Méchin
Regional Sales Vice President Middle East and Africa, AFI KLM E&M

Aymeric Mechin has more than 20 years of professional experience in the aviation industry within Air France and Air France-KLM Group, in various engineering & maintenance fields. Since 2014, Aymeric has been successively General Manager of Dubai Sales office and Strategic Sales Director for Europe and Key Accounts at AFI KLM E&M. Aymeric Mechin has been appointed Regional Sales Vice President Middle East and Africa at AFI KLM E&M as of January 2021.

 
 

     
 

Arjan Meijer
President & Chief Executive Officer, Embraer Commercial Aviation

Prior to being appointed to his current role in June 2020, Arjan was the company’s Chief Commercial Officer. His role oversees the worldwide sales, marketing, customer support and primary customer relationships. Arjan joined Embraer in April 2016 in the position of Vice President of Embraer Commercial Aviation for Europe and the Middle East, including Russia & the Central Asia region.  

 Prior to April 2016, Arjan spent 15 years at KLM on the engineering, technical services and fleet development aspects of the company. His last role was Managing Director of KLM UK Engineering Limited.

 
 

     
 

Lt Gen Jean-Jacques Mupenzi
Rwanda Air Force Chief of Staff

Lt Gen Mupenzi has previously been the Commandant of the Rwanda Defence Force Senior Command and Staff College and the Commander of the Mechanized Division.
He is a fellow of the National Defence College (Karen-Kenya), Joint Passed Staff College (UK), Passed Staff College (Nigeria) and Army High Command Course (China).
Lt Gen Jean Mupenzi is a holder of a Masters Degrees in Defence Studies and International Studies from Kings College London (UK) and Nairobi Universities respectively. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration.

 
 

     
 

Stephen A. Musa
Air Transport Specialist, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC)

With over 22 years accumulated working experience in the Civil Aviation sector Stephen rose through various positions of higher responsibilities covering economic regulations, air transport operations and aviation environmental protection. He also served as the Special Assistant to the former Secretary General of AFCAC and Alternate Expert on Aviation Environmental Protection and recently acted as Director of Air Transport at AFCAC.He is a member of the ICAO Facilitation Panel (FALP) and the Air Transport Regulation Panel (Observer) and of several other International and Regional Committees and Working Groups.
 
 

     
 

Capt. Irene "Koki" Mutungi
Board Member, Flight Safety Foundation

Captain Koki has been a leading figure in African aviation. The daughter of a Kenya Airways pilot she had dreamed of flying and achieved her PPL at Wilson Airport as soon she could.  She obtained her commercial licence in the US and returned to Nairobi joining Kenya Airways as their first female pilot and became the first African woman to command a commercial airline flight. She went on to become the youngest captain of the 787 Dreamliner.  Named as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

.

 
 

     
 

Hisham Nasser

Chairman Consultant for Quality and Safety, EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering

Hisham Nasser is the former Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering and the former Chairman of the MRO Collaboration Steering Board in the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO).

He is now the Chairman Consultant for Quality and Safety in EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering and Instructor in the Aerospace division of the Faculty of Engineering in Cairo University.

He has been in the aviation industry for almost 38 years.

 
 

     
 

Edward Njeru
Captain, Safarilink Aviation

Edward is a captain with Safarilink Aviation, the regional airline based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been passionate about aviation since he was a youngster and, hence, pursued his career as a commercial pilot. Outside of flying, he holds various postgraduate diplomas in air cargo & airline management and leadership. He is also “trying his hand” in aviation safety, as well as article writing and podcasting, so as to contribute more to the industry at large. Safarilink has a network of connecting domestic scheduled services to safari destinations within Kenya and in northern Tanzania.

 
 

     
 

Jonathan Norman
Head of business development at AviaPro Consulting

Jonathan is an aerospace professional with more than 20 years’ experience of managing complex off-shore business ventures and projects related to aviation and international businesses, with a strong focus on business strategy, airport business development, mergers and acquisitions, and multiple stakeholder negotiations. Current focus areas include strategic consulting, aerospace business development, partnerships, and IT integrations along the entire aviation ecosystem. Jonathan, a former airline pilot and aerospace engineer, also has extensive experience in corporate management and international trading along several markets including North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

 
 

     
 

Gidon Novick
Co-founder, LIFT Airline

Gidon is a socially minded entrepreneur, who has created innovative and high-growth opportunities within large businesses, as well as built new businesses from inception. His focus is on continuing to build large-scale, innovative, and high-impact businesses based in South Africa. He was previously joint CEO with Comair Group. He launched Africa’s first low-cost airline, kulula.com, grew Comair to 2-million passengers in five years, and launched the premium SLOW lounge concept with a banking group. He co-founded LIFT airline with a different and more flexible operating model. He has a BCom CA and an MBA.

 
 

     
 

Dr. Ernest Nsabimana
Minister of Infrastructure, Rwanda

Dr. Ernest Nsabimana is a Ph.D. degree holder in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Geotechnical & Transportation Engineering. He has research interests and expertise in Transportation infrastructure such as Highway Engineering, Airport Engineering, Railway Engineering, Urban planning and building houses with locally available materials. He served as Senior Lecturer of Civil Engineering at IPRC-Kigali and Coordinator of Rwanda TVET Trainer Institute (RTTI) at RP. He is recently appointed as Vice Mayor in charge of Urbanization and Infrastructure of City of Kigali (CoK) while serving Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) as Principal of IPRC Karongi

 
 

     
 

Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu
Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

With more than 40 years in aviation Capt. Nuhu, former commercial pilot worked for various organizations including Nigeria Airways, Presidential Air Fleet, Petrowest and Aero Contractors, in varied roles including line captain; training captain; chief pilot; flight safety manager and technical assistant to honourable Minister of Aviation.
Recently, as the permanent representative of Nigeria on ICAO, served as one term vice-president of the Council and an active member of several ICAO Council Committees.  He is currently chairman of the West African inter-government aviation group BAGASOO.

 
 

     
 

Alan Peaford, MBE.
Chairman, Aviation Africa

Alan Peaford is an aviation writer, broadcaster and commentator. He is editor-in-chief of Times Aerospace publications including African Aerospace , ADS Advance, and Arabian Aerospace magazines.
He is also the chairman of Aerocomm Ltd, a UK-based media consultancy and support company specializing in aviation and aerospace. In this role he has been consultant editor for Flightglobal for almost three decades and was responsible for developing the Flight Daily News at the world’s major airshows and for FINN, the digital media channel. He is also author of the Pocket Guide to Business Aircraft, and is a regular commentator on African aviation for the BBC World Service.

 
 

     
 

Nuno Pereira
Managing Director and CEO, BestFly

Nuno has an extensive flying background from  bush pilot to humanitarian freight operations; business jet captain and airline captain flying 747s and 777s.

He launched Bestfly as an Angolan aviation services company and extended it into a business aviation operator and airline offering corporate support with helicopters and regional jets in Angola and domestic airline services in Cabo Verde.

He is also vice chairman of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA).

 
 

     
 

Giorgio Pietra
President, International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP)

Giorgio has more than 40 years of experience in the aviation industry. At the top of his career, he covered the position of VP Fleet Maintenance in Alitalia and the CEO position in one of its subsidiaries. For the last 7 years, Giorgio has been part of the IATA Task Force working on SGHA.

Since his election by the IATP Airline Members in 2005, he has been a member of the IATP Board of Directors (previously referred to as “Management Committee”), twice nominated President of the Organization, a position he still currently occupies.

 
 

     
 

Mark Pilling
Aviation Journalist

Mark Pilling is an experienced journalist, editor and publisher covering the global airline and aviation industry for 25 years. Initially editor of leading industry titles, including Airline Business, Airports International and Airport World he went on to become publisher of the FlightGlobal aviation brands, featuring flightglobal.com, Flight International and Flight Daily News, and helped establish FlightGlobal (now Cirium). Today, Mark is a consulting editor at FlightGlobal, editor of Airline Routes & Ground Services magazine, a contributing editor at Arabian and African Aerospace and anchor at Times Aerospace TV, and contributing editor of GreenAir News.

 
 

     
 

Ahsen Rajput
Director of International Sales, Boeing


Ahsen Rajput has been responsible for relationships for some of Boeing’s most strategic customers in the MEA region including Ethiopian Airline and Etihad Airways since January 2008.Ahsen joined Boeing in July 2015 as Deputy Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Boeing Capital Corporation (BCC). Prior to this, he was Executive Director – Aviation & Transport, ECA (Export Credit Agencies) & Wholesale Banking at National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). Before NBAD, he worked for Deutsche Bank as Vice President, Regional Head MENA.  Preceding his banking career, Ahsen served as a Squadron Leader in the Pakistan Air Force.
 
 

     
 

Craig Rooney
Partner, Clyde & Co

Craig represents airlines and their insurers in all aspects of dispute resolution and his experience includes, but is not limited to, major losses, subrogated actions, aircraft and related property damage claims, and general liability matters such as personal injury, cargo and baggage claims. He also has considerable experience in handling matters involving EU consumer rights legislation in the field of aviation law, in particular the carriage of passengers with reduced mobility. His practice focuses on European, African and Middle Eastern jurisdictions and his understanding of his clients’ expectations often enables him to achieve commercially viable and pragmatic solutions.

 
 

     
 

Melissa Rusanganwa
Head of Africa Regulatory Affairs, Zipline

Melissa started at Zipline as Public Affairs Lead to handle Governmental Affairs and now as part of the Regulatory lead, as Head of Africa Regulatory Affairs, Melissa manages Zipline’s integration and regulatory approvals into the national airspace on the African continent.

 After joining the team in Rwanda she has continued to solidify relationships with different Governmental stakeholders and Regulators to smooth operations and Zipline’s integration into the national airspace.
 
 

     
 

Benoit Scourion
Services Sales Director, Airbus Africa Middle East

In his capacity of Services Sales Director Airbus Africa Middle East, Benoit is in charge of Airbus services portofolio (Airframe, Material (FHS), Training & Digital).

Previously Digital Sales Director, Benoit has supported operators & airline stakeholders in their digital transformation with the implementation of Skywise, the Airbus open data platform for aviation. Benoit joined Airbus in 2008 as an engineer in Beijing, where he spent 10 years, he is also a private pilot, and regularly participates in orienteering races.

 
 

     
 

Hassan Shahidi
President and CEO, Flight Safety Foundation

Dr. Hassan Shahidi is the President and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, where he leads a global campaign to improve aviation safety.  Dr. Shahidi has led the Foundation’s initiatives to promote safety culture and proactive safety management. His global priorities include risks of runway excursions, loss of control and controlled flight into terrain.  Dr. Shahidi has over forty years of experience in air traffic management and aviation safety. He holds a private pilot license. He holds a bachelor and master’s in international economic and studies, a master’s in systems engineering and operations research, and a doctorate in engineering management.

 
 

     
 

Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo
Country Manager, Afrijet

Fadimatou is founder of the Young African Aviation Professional Association (YAAPA), a non-profit organisation that creates a platform for exchange between aviation professionals and young people. She advocates for stakeholders to invest more on human capital development through innovative methods in Africa to ensure a safe and secure industry for the next generation. Previously Director Strategy & Business Development, Cronos Airlines, she is also Founder & CEO of HEFA Group.

 
 

     
 

Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika
Minister for Aviation, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Senator Sirika is a former Member of the House of Representative, and assumed the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2011, where he represents Katsina North Senatorial District under the platform of Congress for Progressive Change. Sirika held the position of vice-chairman of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Committee set by the Nigerian Senate.

 

As a former pilot, he is a member of the Senate Committee on Aviation. He has spoken about issues bordering on piloting and the aviation sector.

 
 

     
 

Jason Sutcliffe
Regional marketing director – EMEA, Rolls-Royce Plc

Sutcliffe, a former UK RAF aircraft engineer, joined Rolls-Royce in 2006 as a fleet planner in the Derby operations centre. After three years, and following a one-year secondment with Singapore Airlines, he became customer fleet director with International Aero Engines (IAE) in East Hartford, USA, where he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the V2500 engine fleet in the Middle East. In 2012 he returned to Rolls-Royce in the UK as marketing director. In 2017 he took on his current role.

 
 

     
 

Georges Touma
Business Development Senior Manager for Airport & Master System Integration, SITA

Georges is currently responsible for business development of SITA’s Master Systems Integration, focusing on greenfield airports in the Middle East and Africa region, with 20 years of professional experience in passenger and baggage processing, airport management solutions and networks &

data platforms.

 

Prior to joining SITA in 2010, he held  positions including NOC team leader for a major Telecom’s operator in Saudi Arabia and Senior Support Engineer for a network and systems integrator in the Middle East.

 
 

     
 

Silas Udahemuka
Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority

Mr. Silas Udahemuka is the Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, a position he has served in since 2014. Before being appointed to the position of the Director General in 2014, he deputized the Director General in the same organization and he was responsible for Airports Management and Operations, a position he served in since 2007.

 

He is the current President of the African Civil Aviation Commission and also serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Regional Aviation Safety Group for Africa and the Indian Ocean (RASG-AFI) Steering Committee.

 
 

     
 

Krista Vandermeulen
CEO, Wecair

Krista, a top marketing professional, started her own company in 2009 where, as a business developer, she helped many companies to acquire new business partners and close deals. A major foray into the aviation industry was on a project with Ecair Aviation regarding upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) and she soon became a key player in this high-level pilot training field. In 2017, together with Captain Philippe Borghini, she co-founded the Wecair international pilot training school in Bordeaux. She has recently signed an agreement with Air Côte d’Ivoire to train of cadet pilots under EASA regulations.

 
 

     
           

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