Government Ministers, aviation professionals, airline operators, Foreign investors and stakeholders will converge on Abuja next week 21st-23rd of June, 2017 to discuss and network on how airport business can help deliver the total air transport growth and also help the airlines to break even.
Speaking on the need for growth in air transport business, organizer of the annual Airport Business Summit, Mr. Fortune Idu said the summit is to bring together experts, professionals and investors in the airport industry, comprising those from the airport side and the aircraft side, the airline side and of course the handling companies to brainstorm on how to move the Nigerian aviation industry to the next level.
Mr. Idu who is also the organizer of the Nigerian Aviation Awards (NIGAV) said the theme for this year’s edition which is “Repositioning The Airport Business To Sustain Air Transport Growth”, is hinged around the understanding that one cannot really have the growth in the air transport if the airport is not operating properly and in line with international standards.
“The aviation industry actually relies on the stability and sustainability of the airport itself to grow because the profit margin for the airlines are always very small. For the aviation industry to thrive, we need an airport that has the capacity to carry and give services that are measurable to what the airlines are paying to enable them to be sustainable in their operations. So repositioning the airport business to sustaining air transport growth will be focused on seeing how airport business can help deliver the total air transport growth giving the airlines support to also break even”, Mr Idu said.
According to Mr. Idu, four years ago, he discovered that there were gaps in the development of airports in Nigeria and a lot of airport infrastructure deficit, thus decided to start the summit which is expected to expose the airport itself and to open up the industry to investors so that more players could come in.
“We started the Airport Business Summit and since then, it has grown. From a gathering of very few number of people, it has brown to an annual event of over 250 delegates each time we hold the event. We are not stopping there; we are looking at increasing our capacity to attract players in the industry and open the summit for exhibitions, so we can have a vibrant travel expo alongside the Airport Business Summit”, Idu informed.
On the benefits to the industry, Mr. Idu stated that the summit is geared towards the promotion of airport development and doing it rightly, just as he noted that with the summit, Nigeria would start thinking of having a 21 century airport in the country.
“From the on going, you can see that our airports lack investments; it is not growing. With this Airport Business Summit, we try to emphasize on the business side of airport development, and helping people who are interested to come into the industry to find their place”, he said.
“The airport industry is a multi-sectorial industry. It goes beyond the aviation alone. You know you have all types of activities going on around the airport. The summit is not limited to only aviators alone. It is open to both the core aviators and the non-aeronautic service providers. You have retail shops and all kinds of businesses going on around the airport. So airport is actually a real estate, so you also have a real estate part of this industry. The summit is not only open to aviators alone; it is open to aviation operators and non-aviation operators. Everyone is involved in the summit and nobody is left out”, he said.
Dignitaries and delegates expected at the summit are: The honourable Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Engr Saleh Dunoma, Director General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Mukhtar Usman, ground handling companies, aviation fueling companies, aviation catering services companies and others.
Issues to be discussed at the summit include amongst others: Runway Rehabilitation Process, Airport Security and Passengers’ Facilitations while the minister will be coming on the second day to declare the event open.
“On the first day of the event, we have a workshop; we have three workshops and one is on dealing with the runway rehabilitation process that was completed few months back. We want to discuss and learn some lessons from the process. We also have on the issue of airport security which we are going to discuss and then we have the issue of passengers’ facilitations which we are going to discuss. Those are the three tracks of the workshop that day. Then the second day, which is the plenary, we have the Minister Of State For Aviation coming to declare the event open and we also have a showcasing of some of the activities going on in the industry. We have an exhibition stand area where FAAN, NCAA and the rest of them showcasing and talking to the public. We have a lot of speakers coming, both those in the industry and those who have retired”, Idu said.
The 4th annual Airport Business Summit and Expo will take place at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre , Central Area Abuja.