November 29, 2023

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AVIATION DAY: Hadi Sirika seeks support for airport concession, the national carrier, others

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Photo Credit: ICAO

As the world of international air transport celebrates today as #flyday, the federal government has seized the occasion to appeal to all patriotic Nigerians to support the Aviation Ministry’s roadmap as enunciated by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

In a goodwill message to Nigerians especially the industry stakeholders, at the commemoration of the International Civil Aviation Day, ICAD, the Minister said “the roadmap was developed to serve as a catalyst for a comprehensive overhaul of the aviation industry in Nigeria so as to position the country as an air transportation hub within West and Central African sub-region”

The Minister reiterated that the roadmap which included the establishment of a national carrier, establishment of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, Concession of some airports, the establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company, amongst others, will lay a solid and lasting foundation for Aviation development in Nigeria.

In a media statement from the minister and signed by the ministry’s Director of Public Affairs, James Odaudu, the minister assured: “Nigerians that the implementation of the roadmap, which according to him, is in line with the theme of the ICAD, remains on course and that the results will become obvious in due course”.

The statement also affirmed that safety and security had remained at the centrepiece of government policies in the sector since the inception of the current administration and its efforts had severally been applauded by well-meaning regional and international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), among others

Sirika appealed to all players within the industry to join hands with the government to ensure the realization of the lofty objectives of the roadmap for the benefit of Nigerians and all users of the nation’s airspace.
The Minister also used the occasion to reaffirm Nigeria’s unalloyed commitment to the ideals of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other Aviation bodies of which it is a member.

The theme for International Civil Aviation Day in 2020 is:

“Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”

A commitment to innovation has always been at the heart of aviation, and it has been instrumental to the continuous performance improvements countries have realized, through ICAO, for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and the economic and environmental sustainability of international operations.
Innovation will also be at the heart of our recovery strategies and partnerships as we build back better post-pandemic, establishing a renewed global network that is greener and more resilient in the face of future pandemic threats, and more dependable in terms of the significant socio-economic benefits which air connectivity delivers to modern societies.
Today, the ICAO Council, including its Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce, continues to encourage innovative and prudent measures to help countries respond to and ultimately recover from COVID-19. This work is being supported by the ICAO Secretariat, which has been innovating its own special adjustments to global aviation standards to keep vital operations possible, and establishing dedicated pandemic resources and monitoring tools to keep countries effective and coordinated in their air transport responses.

Together these actions are keeping crucial air cargo supply chains functioning when the world needs them most, facilitating the provision of vital humanitarian and repatriation air services to bring families back together, helping to protect passengers and air crew each and every day, and are being heavily relied upon to move vaccines and other perishable and high-value goods.
Looking forward to a post-pandemic world, innovation will be at the very heart of the new era in aviation which is now dawning, and to the advances in autonomous aircraft, renewable power and propulsion sources, sub-orbital flight, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, big data, blockchain, and many other exciting developments which are changing the face of flight as we know it.
Success in such efforts has always relied on a worldwide commitment to the standardization, harmonization, and cooperation which countries and industry achieve together at ICAO. These duties and capabilities are more important than ever today, as we confront together the dual challenges of controlling COVID-19, and mitigating the incredibly severe socio-economic effects it has led to by restricting air connectivity for both developed and developing societies.

-: Dr Fang Liu, Secretary-General, International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, Montreal, Canada

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