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80% Of African Airports Unutilised –Expert

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The Director of Government, Legal and Industry Affairs, African Airlines Association, Mr Aaron Munetsi, has said Africa’s over 400 airports are grossly underutilised.
According to him, the continent is in dire need of improved air connectivity, noting that the total utilisation of the airports is only about 19 per cent.
Munetsi gave the position at the recently concluded 15th AKWAABA African Travel and Tourism Market in Lagos.
He said, “The airports that we have are underutilised. Statistics that were shared recently by IATA show that all the airports in Africa are only utilised up to only 19 per cent which means 80 per cent are redundant.
“Even in the busiest airport, 80 per cent are redundant so the idea is to make sure the ones that we have are utilised to the max. When we have met and exceeded the required capacity, we can think of building new airports.”
According to him, policies, processes and procedures guided by discipline will drive the industry’s growth.
Muntesi, who spoke with other aviation experts, stated that the problem of multiple taxation across countries on the continent had continued to hinder the growth of the industry.
Munetsi said African governments should explore other aspects of their economies in order to get revenue and stop imposing unnecessary charges on airlines.
He said, “The rate at which airlines are taxed is alarming. Sometimes airlines are charged just for writing their names on the boarding pass.
“Charging Africans to pay for visas is an act of poverty. African governments must look for other means of making money but not through multiple taxation.”
He said the Single Africa Air Transport Market was adopted by the African Union to achieve the objective of liberalising air transportation among Africans and increasing connectivity.
According to him, African airlines should be allowed to operate anywhere within the continent as this will create a healthy bond and unity among Africans.
Munetsi said, “The weather of the various African countries is an advantage for Africans to properly groom the aviation industry to the western world admiration. The African free trade zone can only be successful if the African airports and airlines are positioned to be efficient in terms of service delivery.
“The role of governments is to create an enabling environment through access to capital for airlines and development of airport infrastructure. An aviation sector that is privately-driven and modelled after the best practices is key to growing the African economy.”
Aviation expert, Mr Chris Aligbe, stated that the Federal Government should implement the concession of airports to develop the industry.
According to him, airports in the country will perform better under concessionaires as the Federal Government lacks the ability to finance modern airport infrastructure.

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Aviation

PH Airport Goes Tough On Illegal Trading

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The management of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, has embarked on demolition of illegal structures and dismantling of unapproved places used for trading within the airport.
The Tide observes that an attached structure to the accredited car hire’s office, as well as other adjourning structures and attachments used for trading within the airport, have been demolished.
Our correspondent also reports that all food vendors that used to sell within the airport have been dislodged, just as hawking activities have been restricted.
Aviation security men are now on the prowl for offenders.
Efforts made to speak with the airport’s Regional Manager was not successful, as he was said to be very busy on inspection work within the airport, but sources within the office hinted that the move was aimed at sanitizing the airport in preparation for certification exercise expected this December.
Meanwhile, the airport management has also embarked on marking out access roads to the airport, as places have been marked out for dropping of passengers from vehicles, with clearly marked out median of the road.
It would be recalled that the Regional Manager, South-South of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Felix Akinbinu, had said recently, that the Port Harcourt Airport would be certificated in December, this year.

By Corlins Walter

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Aviation

FAAN Partners ICAO On Digital Training Of Personnel

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In fulfilment of its desire for capacity development, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has partnered the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for a robust digital training of its fire officers and other personnel.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, who disclosed this in a statement made available to aviation correspondents through the Corporate Affairs Office on Wednesday, said the agency under his watch was focusing on accountability and responsibility of staff.
According to him, the new FAAN management is aware of the various challenges confronting staff and personnel, as well as each airport, and is working on them in order of priority amidst paucity of funds.
He said further that FAAN management would embark on massive renovation and upgrade of staff quarters across the nation’s airports.
The upgrade, according to him, would be done in stages.
Yadudu also charged staff to be professional in the discharge of their duties, and not to compromise their work and career.
“Take your job seriously. People see you through what you do, and you can make a name for yourself through your job. Use FAAN to launch your career”, he advised.
The FAAN boss, however, appealed to staff to always communicate their complaints, concerns and challenges to management through their heads of departments and airport managers rather than doing things that would threaten the steady growth of the aviation industry.

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Aviation

FG Restates Commitment To Airports’ Safety

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The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration towards improving safety and security at the nation’s airports through training and provision of world-class infrastructure.
Sirika gave the assurance during an aviation stakeholders’ meeting in Afaka, Kaduna State, on Tuesday.
He said that capacity building through training and retraining of aviation staff in line with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements and provision of world class infrastructure are the tools with which the Buhari administration hopes to achieve maximum security and safety at the airports.
He urged aviation personnel to see their positions as a privilege to serve their country at various levels in aviation industry.
“You must realise that it is a privilege to you to serve your country in the aviation industry which is one place where adherence and commitment to rules and standards are applied strictly to the letter,” he said.
While reassuring stakeholders of government continued investment in its human resources development, the minister urged them to be more committed, dedicated, and approach duties assigned them with high sense of responsibility.
The meeting was well attended by major bigwigs in the aviation industry drawn from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), among others.

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