A newly launched web portal offers lessors, government officials, and airlines an expert source for the various aviation laws across Africa and a directory of aviation-experienced attorneys ready to help.
The Aviation - Education, Resource & Information for African Lawyers (AERIAL) network (aerial.aero), is a not-for-profit initiative set up and sponsored by GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE. It is open to both private-practice and in-house lawyers and is free to join.
Lawyers in the network can use the portal to share information and expertise on African countries' aviation laws, Cape Town ratification, and open skies treaties, as well as share knowledge on noise, safety, or environmental issues.
“One of the biggest obstacles to financing aircraft in Africa is the patchwork of laws on a country-by-country basis,” said David Bartlett, creator of the AERIAL network and senior VP, legal counsel for GECAS. “We built this online resource to make it easier for everyone to help grow the aviation industry in Africa.”
The AERIAL portal launched with members in 20 different African countries. In addition, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has thrown their support behind the project.
"I believe this initiative is a laudable initiative which addresses some of the most critical challenges in African Aviation: the lack of information, resources and training relating to aviation law," said Tewodros Tamrat, Director Government, Corporate and Industry Affairs, African Airlines Association.
GE forecasts that the aviation industry in Africa will continue to grow as economic conditions improve and more of the 1 billion people on the continent choose to travel by air. In addition, GE estimates approximately 25 percent of the Western-built narrow body aircraft currently operating in Africa will be retired in the near term. Currently, GECAS leases 74 aircraft with airlines in 13 different African countries.
For more information about the AERIAL network or to request membership, visit aerial.aero/.
About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GECAS, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE, has a fleet of approximately 1,740 owned and managed aircraft with 237 airlines in 76 countries. GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types and financing options, including operating leases and secured debt financing, and also provides productivity solutions including spare engine leasing, spare parts financing and management. GECAS, a unit of GE Capital, has offices in 24 cities around the world. (GECAS.com)
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