The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a step closer towards the implementation of the US$10 million upper airspace integration project, with aviation experts meeting in Victoria Falls to consider the technical and financial feasibility report.

The regional bloc is confident that the creation of a unified air space control framework will deepen regional integration, promote tourism and socio-economic cooperation.

Aviation experts, government officials and members of the COMESA secretariat are attending a three-day meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to consider the technical and financial feasibility study of the airspace integration project.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Michael Madanha said the project is critical in ensuring efficient and cost effective air navigation services.

COMESA Director for Infrastructure and Logistics, Mr Jean Baptiste Mutabazi said the regional bloc is satisfied with the progress made to date in pursuit of the seamless upper airspace project which is set to promote regional integration and growth.

Among other things, the COMEA upper space integration project is envisaged to reduce delays, lower costs, mitigate the negative impact of air transport operations on the environment and enhance air safety.

It is estimated that air transport in Africa represents a mere 3 percent of the world air traffic. However, observers said there is huge untapped potential as only 10 percent of the population uses air services.