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Make BASA Fund Available, Expert Says

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The Federal Government has been urged to make the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) fund available to the domestic airlines to enable them meet up with their rising cost of operations.

Mr Amos Akpan, the Managing Director of Capital Airlines, who made the appeal in his speech the Aviation Economic Summit Break fast in Lagos, said the BASA fund is a reciprocity fund available to Nigeria Airways in those days as money paid by airlines like British Airways, Air France and other foreign airlines for operations not carried out by Nigeria Airways in the countries of those airlines.

Mr Akpan said now that the domestic airlines are carrying out the operations that Nigeria Airways should have been doing, they should rightly benefit from the fund.

According to him, “all the airlines in the country are operating at a different time. Right now the cost of operation in Nigeria is higher than the income earned by the airlines. Those who are having fresh fund for now will start experiencing the hard time when they start carrying out “C and “D” checks on their aircraft”.

The Capital Airlines boss said the airlines would not expect that the money be given to the airlines freely, but that the airlines should be able to access it at 7 to 8 per cent interest. “Where it is used to purchase an aircraft, the airlines can be allowed to pay over five years”, he added.

It would be recalled that recently, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Babatunde Omotaba, has assured that government’s position is not to allow Nigerian carriers to go down because of the adverse implication it will have on the nation.

Only recently, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, called for the support of the authority to enable the airlines remain afloat and viable to promote the economy of the nation.

Dr Demuren said the authority is doing this to create an enabling environment for the domestic airlines to operate.

He said to create enabling environment is to ensure that they have good routes where they can make money.

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Aviation

Association Seeks Review Of Aviation Laws

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Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), has called on the Federal Government to review the country’s aviation laws to improve the industry.
ATSSSAN’s Chairman, Abuja Chapter of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr Samuel Wuyep made the call in an interview with newsmen.
According to him, many of the laws operated within the aviation industry are obsolete and need to be repealed.
“Most of the laws we operate within the aviation industry particularly when it comes to enforcement are obsolete. We need these laws to be repealed.
“We want the government to enact the enabling laws, to repeal the existing laws so that we will have enough reasons, if not for prosecution, to deter someone from committing wrong doings.
“We are looking for the enabling law that will make, particularly the aviation security to be stronger so that they can enforce these law judiciously to the end.
“Penalties for wrong doing should be stiffer so that people will know that we are serious,” he said.
According to him, aviation is elitist and its standard is universal.
On airport maintenance, Wuyep said that the management of airports maintained the airport with the assistance of government, sometimes.
The chairman decried the call for concessioning of airports, adding that “there is no need for third party”.
Wuyep commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring continuity in the aviation sector by reappointing Hadi Sirika and restoring full-fledged status of the ministry.
According to him, the move is a right step as governance itself is continuous.
“The minister is proactive and is working very hard to ensure airport facilities are maintained.
“It is a thing of joy that such person is with us. We pray that the minister will focus on innovations and innovative ideas that will uplift the standard of airports.
“He has gone far on issues about safety and security before he left (his first tenure ended).
“I want to believe he is going to work on such things to advance our airports to be among the best in the world,” Wuyep said.

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Aviation

Stakeholders Want NCAA, AIB To Partner On Aviation Safety

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Aviation stakeholders have urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to work together toward improving safety in the sector.
The stakeholders spoke in Lagos, yesterday at the Quarterly Breakfast Meeting of the Aviation Round Table (ART) which had the topic: “Advantages of Implementing AIB Recommendations”.
A former Director-General of NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren said both the NCAA and the AIB exist for the common goal of promoting aviation safety and preventing accidents.
He said Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) empowers the AIB to investigate accidents and to make safety recommendations aimed at preventing its recurrence.
“AIB do not have the authority to enforce or implement these safety recommendations. They have to pass it to the NCAA which is the regulator of the industry, so that is why they must continue to work together.
“The NCAA, thereafter, will evaluate the recommendations using a risk-based approach and might decide to implement them partially or decline to do so, ‘’ Demuren said.
Also, , the NCAA Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman said that committees were set up by the federal government in 2014 and 2017 to look into the safety recommendations on accidents made by the AIB to the agency.
Usman, represented byNational Coordinator, State Safety Programme, NCAA, Mr Ifeanyi Okike said it was discovered that out of the 37 recommendations issued, 29 had been fully implemented.
According to him, two were partially recommended, while the NCAA declined to implement the remaining six because of the risks associated with their recommendations.
He noted that the leadership of both agencies would continue to collaborate to ensure the safety of the Nigerian airspace.
On his part, , former Commissioner, AIB, Mr Sam Oduselu said the bureau had improved the welfare of its investigators to ensure that they are not compromised in the course of performing their duties. Oduselu explained that the timely implementation of safety recommendations was very crucial, stressing that the NCAA should ensure that the recommendations are injected into the industry to enhance safety.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Gbenga Olowo, President, ART said implementation of the safety recommendations was crucial to the industry.

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Benin Airport Prepares To Accommodate More Aircraft

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The Manager of Benin Airport, Mr Olatokunbo Arewa says plans are on to expand the apron of the airport as more airlines commence operations in the state.
Arewa told the newsmen in Benin, yesterday that the airport management was making room for more airlines to commence operations in Benin, just as Aero Contractors commenced its activities in Benin Airport on September 16.
“We are expecting two or three more airlines to commence activities at the Benin Airport before the end of the year.
“So, we are making plans to expand our apron so we can accommodate two or three planes at the same time”, he said.
According to him, the airport has the necessary facilities for aircraft to land at any time of the day and the facilities are working well.
“We have the instrument landing system, distance measuring equipment, edge light, approach light and they are working perfectly”, he stated.
Arewa said three airlines were currently operating from the Benin Airport with each making two operations daily.
He said that one of the airlines had started lifting passengers from Benin to Dubai, adding that passengers going to Dubai from Benin do not need to travel to Lagos or Abuja.

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