An expert in the aviation industry, Capt. Dapo Olumide, has called for more investment in infrastructure at the airports, so as to accelerate speedy growth in Nigeria’s aviation industry.
Olumide, the former Managing Director of Virgin Nigeria Airway, who made the call while speaking with aviation correspondents, at the Port Harcourt International Airport on Tuesday noted that infrastructural deficit had remained a major challenge to airline operations in the country.
He said that investment in airport infrastructure must be made, without which the nations aviation sector will not develop like other advanced countries of the world.
“We must invest in infrastructure without infrastructure, you can’t go anywhere in the aviation sector.
“The challenge we have here is that of infrastructure development in order to accelerate the growth of our aviation sector, we must improve our infrastructure”, he said.
He said that the landing aids at airports in the country would only allow an aircraft to land in visibility of 800 metres.
“Anything less than that, the airplane cannot land. That is a loss of revenue for the airline and for the particular airport.
“So we need to install the infrastructure that will allow aircraft to land with reduced visibility. We have it all over the world. It is just equipment on the ground, equipment on the aircraft and specialised training for the pilots.
“So without infrastructure, you cannot bring in more modern aircraft to compete with the western airline because there are no places to park them”, Olumide stated.
The aviation expert, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Ropeways Transport Limited, also reiterated the need for government to provide a conducive environment for investors to come into the sector.
He said that government should give assurances to the investors about being able to recoup and remit their funds, in order to attract them to the sector.
“So we need to increase the confidence of investors. It is more about issues like how do you remit your funds. If you are investing in dollars, how do you get your dollars back, because it is one thing for government to say something while practicing a different things”.