FG moves to avert closure of airports for runway repairs

(February 1, 2017) The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has commenced the monitoring of runways in the airports across the country to ascertain their level of safety. The Director-General, NCAA, Captain Mukhar Usman who stated this at a news conference in Lagos, said the monitoring is to rectify any problem noticed and prevent the kind of issues currently trailing the proposed closure of the Abuja airport runway.

The news conference  was a review of the year 2016 and its challenges as well as the direction of the industry in 2017 to sustain the zero accident recorded last year.

The DG of NCAA, noted that 2016 was not all tales of woes as the industry recorded ticket sales of over N330 billion between January and October in spite of economic recession, scarcity of foreign exchange, aviation fuel and inability of foreign carriers to repatriate funds.

He noted that in 2016, there was less number of flights compared to 2015 due to withdrawal and suspension of operations by some airlines.

Captain Usman in a 4-point agenda rolled out for this year, said there would be a step up of oversight on airports with continuous monitoring of runways, audit and certification of air navigation services, aerodromes and heliports as well as strict enforcement of regulations and sanctions.

He observed that the industry had continued to retain its attractiveness with the increase in Bi-lateral Air Services Agreement put at 90 currently, request for additional frequencies by countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, turkey, Brazil, Qatar and Côte d'Ivoire as well as new applications for Air Operators certificate, AOC.

The NCAA boss disclosed that Nigeria would undergo many audits this year to ascertain its level of air safety and security starting with the visit of the American's Transportation Security Administration auditors next week.

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