Sirika,Stakeholders To Discuss Opportunities In Integration Of Drones Into Civil Aviation In Abuja

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The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika,has said that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)will showcase the opportunities that are inherent in the integration of RPAS into the global civil aviation system.

He also said that the gathering  scheduled for July 17 to July 18,2017  in Abuja will  examine possible alignments between ongoing RPAS development and support regulatory provisions.

Speaking further Sirika added that the socio-economic importance and regulation of the use of drones will take centre  stage as Nigeria prepares to host the ICAO symposium on RPAS.

According to him, “It will increase awareness of states, regulators and airspace users of the importance of adapting the existing regulatory framework to the needs of RPAS a fast-growing new member of the aviation community and also on the capabilities of RPAS technologies and the impact of those new capabilities on civil aviation activities showcased through panel discussions and exhibitions. International aviation as a whole will be incentivised to make the best possible use of the new tools created to support the integration of RPAS.”

The Minister also sees the rising profile of Nigeria with the international civil aviation community as a vote of confidence in the nation’s leadership, which  according to him has demonstrated a resolute determination to transform the aviation industry.

This confidence, according to Sirika, informed the re-election of Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliyu as the ICAO Council President in October 2016 and also the recent election of Nigeria’s representative on the Council, Capt. Musa Nuhu as the 2nd Vice President.

Nigeria, he said, will continue to play a leading role in the international civil aviation community, even as it strives to establish itself as a regional hub for air transportation.

The symposium which has as its theme “Remotely Piloted Aviation in Africa: sharing experiences and challenges” would provide a unique opportunity for states, international organisations and stakeholders to share experiences in addressing RPAS operations across Africa and the Indian Ocean.

While focusing on challenges to be overcome and benefits to be obtained, the symposium is expected to identify how existing rules can evolve to facilitate the entrance of RPAS community into the civil aviation system.

ICAO is a UN specialised agency established by states in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

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