With the projection of passenger traffic increase by 2030 according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO and the International Air Transport Association, IATA, African countries have started putting plans in place to handle the boost.
With the call on African countries to prepare for the double increase, Nigeria, has braze the trail in kicking off the programme with the theme: ‘High Level Workshop on Global Air Navigation Plan’
According to IATA, global air passenger travel in 2016 was 3.7 billion, according to IATA. The traffic rose 6.3 per cent when compared to 2015.
This strong performance was well ahead of the 10 years average annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent. Capacity rose 6.2 per cent compared to 2015, pushing the load factor up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of 80.5 per cent.
With the projection of IATA, global air travel is expected to grow to 7.4 billion passenger traffic by 2030.
At a workshop in Lagos organized by ICAO, for Heads of aviation Agencies, Directors and General Managers, Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Muktar Usman says Nigeria cannot afford to be left, adding that to this end efforts are being intensified in the area of infrastructure and regulations.
He said, it was imperative that Nigeria urgently develop and implement short, medium and long term plans in line with global and regional air navigation plans in order to achieve demand and capacity balancing within an acceptable level of safety performance.
“In the spirit of ‘NO Country Left Behind’ as being professed by our own President of ICAO, Dr. Olmuyiwa Aliu, this workshop has been put in place to ensure that we key in and Nigeria is not left behind. So, in terms of regulation and infrastructure, we want to make sure that we are not left behind”, he added.
Usman noted that the “ICAO vision as encapsulated in the Global ATM Operational Concept is aimed at achieving a global ATM system for all users during all phases of flight, that meets agreed level of safety; provides for optimum economic operations, meet national security; and is environmentally sustainable”
The objective of the global air navigation plan is to provide a framework for the harmonization of services and procedures, and enhance global interoperability of systems and data, in order to ensure a safe, secured, efficient , economic and seamless global ATM system that is environmentally sustainable.
In his remarks, the Director, Air Navigation, ICAO, Stephen Cremer said the workshop would help ICAO would get to know the prospects and the challenges of Nigeria towards the global 2030 global air traffic projection.
He said that Nigeria as a leader in the continent needed to take the economic development in Africa, stressing that safety and regulations tools in place required improvement, but observed that the country had improved on the accident and incident records in the past years.
He added: “We want to share our views in a way that it is meaningful to you. There is no any country in the world that can say it has all the navigational equipment. We have challenges everywhere, which are not unique, but the way we approach them is what matters.”
Mr. Prosper Zo’o Minto’o, the Deputy Regional Director, ICAO said that Nigeria is considered as a leader in the continent in terms of its economic and aviation potential.
He declared that the global aviation industry was at a stage it needed to modernise the system and Nigeria had been a pioneer in the introduction of satellite technology in the region since early 1990s.
He, however, said that the navigational aids of the 1990s required upgrade and should be in tandem with the global technologies.
Minto’o explained that air navigation was all inclusive as it involves airlines, accident investigation, airport management, regulation and weather forecast.