Experts Chide FG Over Multiple Destinations To Foreign Airlines | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Experts Chide FG Over Multiple Destinations To Foreign Airlines

Posted: Jul 26, 2015 at 1:24 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Abel Orukpe,Lagos  

Aviation Industry stakeholders and professionals have condemned the multiple entry points granted by the Federal Government to international airline operating in Nigeria.

Some foreign airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Lufthansa and others flies into other airports in the country apart from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA),Lagos.

This is just as they declared that the policy was killing domestic airlines in the industry, which were already bedeviled by numerous challenges such as huge debt skyrocketing price of aviation fuel, which takes 40 per cent of their revenue.

The stakeholders stated that Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should be held responsible for any breach in air safety, complaining that the capacity of the regulatory body to implement safety policy was weak.

Speaking at an aviation stakeholders forum organised by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, (NAAPE), at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the stakeholders argued that granting of multiple entry points to foreign carriers in the country by the Federal government was as a result of poor policy formulation.

Presenting a paper titled,‘Issues in Nigerian Flight Safety Environment – An Overview’ a former Airspace Manager and an aviation consultant, Mr. Sam Akerele, stated that granting multiple entery points to foreign airlines had virtually killed domestic operations in Nigeria.

He pointed out that allowing several foreign airlines to land in five airports in the country had denied local operators of passengers to distribute within Nigeria, adding that it also added to the capital flights.

Akerele described the development as parts of the poor policy formulation by the government, adding that a responsible government should protect its carriers especially when such had limited opportunity for growth.

To buttress his point, he cited Brazil as one of the countries that allowed single entry point for all foreign airlines into its country while its domestic carriers airlift them to other cities within the country.

According to him,  “There is need for the government to reverse this policy of multiple designations to foreign carriers as this is killing our industry and the entire airlines. The ministry of aviation has done more harm to the sector than good. The government should scrap it and allow NCAA to oversee the civil aviation activities in Nigeria”.

He continued, “Also, all the stakeholders should organise a workshop to evaluate the industry and forward recommendations to the President for consideration. The airlines need low interest loans to acquire new equipment and re-fleet and there is a need to upgrade the Air Traffic Controllers’ ATC, equipment and facilities to match 21Century technology”.

Contributing, former pilot with the Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), Capt. Prekeme Porbeni alleged that NCAA was strangulating the domestic carriers with its policies and allowing foreign carriers to dominate the sector.

He alleged that the regulatory body allowed foreign pilots and airlines’ dominance in the local sector without employment for Nigerian technical personnel, adding that in the next couple of years, foreign companies would open maintenance hangar in the industry without employment for Nigerians.