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Seychelles Bids Farewell to Principal Secretary Alan Renaud: A Legacy of Progress in Aviation & Maritime Sectors

Seychelles Bids Farewell to Principal Secretary Alan Renaud: A Legacy of Progress in Aviation & Maritime Sectors

After a distinguished five-and-a-half-year tenure marked by significant advancements in aviation, maritime safety, and border security, Mr. Alan Renaud bids farewell to his role as Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine in the Republic of Seychelles.

With over two decades of experience in the transportation industry, Mr. Alan Renaud significantly advanced Seychelles' aviation and maritime sectors through strategic initiatives, international partnerships, and infrastructure development.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Strengthened International Cooperation: Under his guidance, Seychelles acceded to nine new air treaties and seven new maritime treaties, fostering stronger international partnerships and compliance with global standards, including aviation security treaties such as the Beijing Convention and the Montreal Convention, and maritime treaties related to Maritime Pollution (MARPOL) and bunkers, Wrecks Convention, Anti-Fouling.
  • Enhanced Maritime Safety: He played a pivotal role in inaugurating the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority Bill in February 2020.
  • Spearheaded Critical Border Modernization:
    • Streamlined Efficiency: Mr Renaud spearheaded the implementation of a state-of-the-art electronic Travel Authorization System (eTA) in September 2020, significantly reducing processing times and queues. This initiative, energized by the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, facilitated the safe reopening of Seychelles' borders under a new administration in October 2020. The successful implementation of this project, recognized by different governments, demonstrated Alan’s dedication and commitment to future-proofing Seychelles' travel industry.
    • Strengthened Security: The border management system ensured compliance with international standards, significantly strengthening border security and positioning Seychelles as a leader in border management practices. Furthermore, the system stands ready to adapt to the forthcoming advance passenger information standard for cruise ships, as mandated by the IMO Facilitation Committee.
    • Biometric Corridor launch: In December 2021, Alan spearheaded the successful launch of Africa's first biometric corridor at an international airport.
  • Airport Masterplan Project: He co-led the Project Committee for the airport masterplan review, securing Seychelles' interests and fostering collaboration between the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and Abu Dhabi Airports Company.
  • Upgraded Ports Infrastructure: In a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Transport and the Seychelles Ports Authority, additional funding of EUR 72 million was secured for the modernization and enlargement of Port Victoria.
  • Expanded Bilateral Air Service Agreements: Under his leadership, Seychelles pursued and expanded Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) with determination, almost reaching 100 agreements during his tenure, and poised to achieve this milestone by the end of 2024. Notably, Seychelles welcomed the entry of new airlines such as Aeroflot and Arkia, while increasing frequencies in existing agreements, and facilitated the opening of new routes for Air Seychelles, including destinations like Kazakhstan. These agreements are pivotal for Seychelles' future economy, facilitating increased tourism and trade opportunities.
  • Ensured Air Seychelles' Future Stability: Additionally, he played a pivotal role as Principal Secretary in negotiations with Air Seychelles' bondholders, contributing significantly to securing the airline's future. His expertise and strategic guidance were instrumental in navigating these complex negotiations, ensuring the continued stability and growth of Seychelles' national carrier. Moreover, Mr. Renaud implemented measures to safeguard the critical ground handling services provided by Air Seychelles starting in 2018, demonstrating his foresight and commitment to preserving essential infrastructure for the nation's aviation sector.
  • Secured UK Funding and Delivered Modern Bathymetric Charts: Alan's leadership was instrumental in securing 2.2 million GBP in funding from the UK Government to modernize Seychelles' critical Bathymetric Charts, significantly enhancing navigational safety in Seychelles' waters.

Initiated Projects

  • Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Restructuring and Airport Masterplan Development: He led the initiative to restructure the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) into two distinct entities: a service provider and a regulatory body. Recognizing the complexity of this endeavour and the challenges faced in previous attempts, Alan proactively sought the assistance of a leading aviation consulting firm. Collaborating closely with the SCAA, they developed a comprehensive plan for the separation, including new policies and expanded regulatory powers crucial for the implementation of the new airport masterplan. This strategic partnership ensured that Seychelles had access to world-class support, guaranteeing the highest quality and best outcomes for these critical projects. The proposed bills for the restructuring are anticipated to be presented before the National Assembly in the coming weeks. Additionally, the involvement of the consulting firm extends to the analysis and support of the airport masterplan development, further underscoring Alan's commitment to driving progress and protecting Seychelles' interests in the aviation sector.
  • National Aviation Policy Development: Recognizing the importance of a clear roadmap for the future, Mr. Renaud led the development of a comprehensive National Aviation Policy for Seychelles. This 60+ page document, which involved extensive stakeholder consultations, covers a wide range of topics including market analysis, workforce development, airline development and connectivity, safety and security, air traffic management, airport planning, environmental sustainability, and intermodal connectivity.
  • Modernization of the Maritime Accident Investigation Board (MAIB): Renaud spearheaded the initiative to restructure the MAIB, enabling the organization to better fulfil national expectations and international obligations. Budgetary allocations were significantly increased, and a comprehensive Investigation Manual based on the principles established by the Marine Accident Investigators International Forum (MAAIF) was drafted.

 

Pioneering Solutions for the Maritime Sector

His foresight and commitment to the maritime sector were further exemplified by his actions during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Ensuring Seafarer Well-being: When the pandemic first led to port and airport closures in 2020, Alan oversaw the development of safe protocols for crew changes on fishing vessels. This critical initiative, guided by the Public Health Authority, balanced crew welfare with public health concerns, ensuring safe crew changes while mitigating the risk of outbreaks in Seychelles. He presented these challenges and solutions, particularly the effectiveness of using charter aircraft for crew changes, at the IMO's Eastern and Southern Africa region webinar on October 23, 2020. This innovative approach was well-received and noted by the IMO, demonstrating Alan's commitment to international collaboration and knowledge sharing, and showcasing Seychelles leadership.
  • Spearheaded Safe Resumption of Cruise Tourism: Following an 18-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alan spearheaded a collaborative effort with the Health Authority, Tourism Department, and Ports Authority to safely resume cruise ship arrivals in November 2021. This initiative was crucial for Seychelles' tourism-dependent economy.

 

Key Achievements

  • Developed Stringent Health Protocols: Under his leadership, comprehensive COVID-19 protocols were established for both cruise operators (checklist) and port authorities (management plan). These protocols, aligned with newly developed European standards promulgated by the IMO, ensured a controlled environment for incoming vessels and minimized the risk of outbreaks.
  • Enhanced Border Control System: Renaud oversaw the extension of the newly implemented border management system to include a dedicated maritime portal for advance passenger information. This digital platform provided a more efficient and secure method for processing cruise ship arrivals.
  • Digitalized Port Operations: In collaboration with the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, the Seychelles Ports Authority implemented the Port Victoria Management Information System (PVMIS) in 2023. This system digitizes incoming ship documents, streamlining operations for enhanced efficiency.

Prioritizing Efficiency and Security

In 2019, Seychelles' growing tourism industry, coupled with a limited infrastructure, led to delays, congestion, and potential security concerns, especially during peak travel periods. Additionally, the nation faced challenges related to drug use, illegal immigration, and the need for greater transparency at the border. These factors underscored the critical need for a modernized border management system.

Testimonials

Alan’s leadership propelled Seychelles' airport to become a model of efficiency, lauded by industry professionals. The country manager of a premier airline praised his dedication, highlighting the reduction in arrival wait times achieved through streamlined customs checks. A senior IATA member even called it the most organized arrival process they'd encountered. Implementing a bio-corridor, a dedicated pathway for swift and secure passenger movement, underscored Seychelles' commitment to inclusivity and innovation.

In his own words, Mr. Renaud reflects on his time at the Ministry: "It has been an honour to serve Seychelles in this capacity for the past five and a half years. Returning to contribute to the islands my parents cherished so deeply has been a privilege. I am incredibly proud of the progress we've made together in advancing our aviation and maritime sectors, knowing it has made a real difference. I am confident that the Ministry of Transport will continue its success under capable leadership, and I look forward to applying my experience to new challenges in the future."

International Recognition

Mr. Renaud’s contributions extended beyond Seychelles, as he represented the nation on the international stage, showcasing Seychelles' commitment to global cooperation through various engagements and speaking opportunities.

As Mr. Renaud departs, several key projects remain on track for completion. The Ministry is confident in a smooth transition as a capable successor takes the helm.

Mr. Renaud’s dedication and expertise will undoubtedly be a valuable asset in his future endeavors, and the Ministry of Transport wishes him all the best.

The Ministry will announce the appointment of a new Principal Secretary in due course.

 

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