September 27, 2022

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Nigerian Aviation in Dire Need of Conscientious Leaders to Rescue it From Perdition

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L-R: Alhaji Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Federal Government, General Muhammadu Buhari rtd, Nigeria President and Senator Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister, at the train station of Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, NAIA, During its Commissioning 2017. The train station is yet to service the passengers

Aviation in Nigeria is yearning for leaders who, spoils of office will not spoil but will be resolute with a very clear and discernible vision and genuine desire to drive air transport multifaceted processes toward achieving set goals. Leaders that are devoid of shenanigans to amass wealth at the expense of the industry’s growth and development are in dire need.

The communique issued at the close of the 26th international annual seminar organized by the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents-Nigeria, LAAC-N, screamed that “more than ever before, the industry urgently needs a clearer vision and bold leadership that will think outside the box to rescue it from impending implosion”.

It called for the recalibration of the present procedures, and processes towards achieving set objectives by policy redirection that would present “aviation as a basic essential service industry to the general public, rather than the pastime of the elites and to also have the aviation industry properly tied to the economy, and treat its limiters as national economic emergencies.”

L-R: Mr George Uriesi, Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Air, Mr Bernard Bankole, MD, Finchglow Holdings, Mr Olusegun Koiki, Chairman, LAAC-N, Prof Anthony Kila, Director, CIAPS, Mr Muneer Bankole, MD, Medview Group, at the 26th LAAC international seminar, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.

The talk show held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers on 28th July 2022, with the theme, “Sunset Airport: Safety and Economic Implications” said in its communique that, “airports, like airlines, should be categorized according to their operating capacity and requirements for such services”.

The communique tasked Airport Managers thus, “in a demand-driven sector, airport managers should consider gradual, but a steady extension of operating hours beyond daylight in airports where 24-hour operation is not yet feasible”

It urged the “airline operators, through the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), should as well negotiate for service-hour extensions at specific airports to accommodate travel demands.”

R-L: Mr Tunji Oketumbi, GM, Public Affairs, AIB-N, bagged the Industry PR Manager of the Year 2021 Award, Engr Akin Olateru, Commissioner/CEO, AIB-N, Shared the joy of the award

The communique posited that the “Sunset airport phenomenon and restriction in operating hours should henceforth be treated as an aberration and a problem to tackle, given their dire impact on airlines and the economy at large. Airports that are designed and equipped for optimum services must stop operating at minimum levels. They should either operate optimally or shutdown”, it advised

The communique recommended that “approved master plan of airports should be part of their regulations, and should be made illegal to go beyond the approved limits”, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, should henceforth incorporate this notion among the checks to be conducted as a condition precedent to granting airports approval and when reviewing for revalidation of the approval.

The communique demanded the establishment of a bank of aviation that will be owned by investors and stakeholders. While the ministries of aviation and finance were charged to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to make foreign exchange sufficiently available to ongoing concerns in the air transport subsector of the national economy.

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