The Federal Government of Nigeria has been charged to consider the establishment of a bank of aviation for the funding of aviation development in the country. And the bank to be owned by investors and stakeholders.
Also, 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.
The charge to the government on the establishment of bank of aviation and forex was among the decisions reached at the end of the 2022 conference of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents held in Lagos recently.
Participants at the conference noted that 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.
“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,” according to the communique.
The participants 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.
“Airports, like airlines, should be categorized according to their operating capacity and requirements for such services.
“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.
“Airline operators, through the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), should as well negotiate for service-hour extensions at specific airports to accommodate travel demands.
“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,” said the participants.
The participants 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 called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to henceforth incorporate this among the checks to be conducted as a condition precedent to granting airports approval and when reviewing for revalidation of the approval.
The them of the conference was ‘Sunset Airport: Safety and Economic Implications.’