…As Ojikutu Calls For Categorisation Of Airports Into Four
… Airlines Are Bleeding, Operating In Unfavourable Environment, Capt. Boyo Tells Committee
As the Three-Day Stakeholders Public Hearing to amend the Act establishing aviation agencies continues and ends today, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has appealed to the Senate Committee on Aviation to Change its name to Federal Airports Administration of Nigeria.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu made the appeal during his submission before the Senate Committee on Aviation led by its Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi at the Public Hearing today.
Explaining further, Yadudu said that the change is necessary to prevent conflict with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), as according to him, the word ‘Authority’ connotes that FAAN is also a regulator, a situation which confers on the agency the powers of NCAA.
To set the records straight, Yadudu stated that NCAA is the only regulator recognised by both the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“NCAA Is the only regulator. To avoid legal challenges, we appeal to this committee to amend the Act establishing FAAN to give the agency the necessary powers to manage airports across the country,” he said.
The amendment sought for, he explained, is to help FAAN to manage effectively airports in the country in line with global practices.
Recalled that the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Musa Nuhu, in his presentation on Monday had said that the NCAA is the only regulatory body in the country but that surprisingly some of the service provider aviation agencies, such as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act, 1995 and the Nigerian Airspace Management Act, 1999, equally gave these two agencies powers to regulate.
He had also noted that it was contrary to the Standard Recommended Practices(SARPS) of ICAO, which states that only the NCAA of every ICAO Member State to act as the only autonomous regulator of civil aviation in the member state.
The NCAA boss had also reiterated that the findings of FAA Category 1 Certification Audit of Nigeria aviation conducted in 2010 and ICAO audit in 2006 brought about the need to amend the t Acts and strip FAAN and NAMA the powers to regulate the industry
On his part, the Secretary of Aviation Round Table (ART), Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu submitted that airports are national assets and security, calling on the Committee to make provisions for FAAN for maintenance
He suggested that FAAN should categorize airports in the country into four and that the charges for the different categories should not be the same .
According to him, Category A – should consist of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano Airports and that any airline flying into these airports should pay 100 per cent charges, category B-should pay about 75 per cent , category C 50 per cent and category D- 25 per cent.
He suggested that the Committee should know the number of charges level on airlines and the amount.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo lamented that airlines in the country are bleeding due to the unfavourable environment which they operate, calling on the committee to make laws that would not only create enabling climate but that would also give airlines room to make profits and cut down the cost of flying for the ordinary Nigerian
He said that airports are built to make transportation easy for the common man but that the bills that stakeholders are currently considering were drafted by the executive to suit its own intention.
Boyo said that Airline operators are attending the stakeholders’ public hearing to appeal to the committee to make laws that would address the concerns of the common man because they were elected by the people to represent the people.
He urged the Committee to make laws that would help bring down the cost of flying for ordinary Nigerian, calling on the committee to look for ways to check the overwhelming powers given to the executive.
The Overland Airways boss advocated for the abolishment of the navigational charges, as it unnecessary but however said that terminal charge should be retained.