Evolve new strategies for sustainable airport development, SGF tells ACI delegates

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L-R Ms Angela Gittens ACI president World, SGF Boss Mustapha and ACI president Africa, Saleh Dunoma at the 59th ACI conference in Lagos

…….as Dunoma applauds ACI assistance in training

The Federal Government of Nigeria has urge all African States to continuously upgrade facilities, improve operations, service quality, security and airspace safety to transform aviation business in African.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha who stated this while declaring open the 59th Airport Council International, ACI Conference in Lagos said for Africa to effectively handle the projected traffic in the next 15 years, countries would be expected to continue to attain and maintain global safety standards, Strive to achieve competitiveness and user friendliness and install infrastructure and navigational aids to maximize aircraft utilization for passenger and cargo movement and Achieve costs competitiveness.

He emphasized that for the sustainable development of African airports, new strategies must also evolve, “these strategies include holistic planning for defined development targets; effective and efficient financing plan and successful implementation. The role of partnership with the private sector cannot be over-emphasised, all these would be complemented by a reliable legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalize policy”.

Knowing the importance of aviation as a critical tool for social and economic development given Its potential for Immense contributions to the broader economy, the SGF said the Nigeria government had continued to promote infrastructural development, facilities renewal and the implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the growth and sustainability of the Sector.

“this administration is committed to attracting investors and investments into Nigeria and is providing appropriate legislation , infrastructure and security to protect them.

“Our goal is long-term business sustainability and we are happy to have a dependable ally in ACI” he added.

Boss Mustapha listed key events and projects undertaken to achieve the aviation Roadmap to include: the International World Aviation Forum (MAP) in Abuja, Certification of two of the Nation’s key Airports namely; Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja; Construction of five new International Terminals (Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu) to expand passenger handling capacity to 15 million annually.

Others are, “Implementation of Aviation Sector Roadmap which was approved by the President in 2016 aimed at opening opportunities for investment; Concession of four International Airports as well as the establishment of Search and Rescue Unit to be implemented through Public and Private Partnership”.

“Establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with the mandate to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria; Issuance of Executive Orders aimed at facilitating and easing entry experience of investors, visitors and travellers at the nation’s ports”, he adde.

In his address of welcome, the President ACI Africa and Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma said ACI had been very supportive of FAAN in the area of human capacity development with the agreement signed.

“Last year, Nigeria signed the agreement to become one of the ‘ AC1 global training centers, to further advance the goal of human capacity development in FAAN and in Africa. The first training after the agreement was conducted in December 2017 where Nigeria received participants from other African countries.

Over the years, ACI Africa had focused on safety as a priority leading to the initiation of the world wide acknowledged Airport Excellence (APEX) in safety programme. This has recorded great achievements as major airports continue to requests for this programme”.

Dunoma observed that Nigeria had been in the forefront in striving to attain the highest levels of safety standards, hence with the assistance of the APEX in safety programme, they were able to achieve the certification of our 2 busiest airports.

“Our goal is to certify all our international airports and we are working tirelessly to achieve that, hem we have taken the
bold step to carry out the APEX in safety programmes in our international airports.

The APEX review for Kano and Port were carried out in March while reviews for Enugu and Kaduna airports are scheduled for June this year”.

“The evolving nature of airport management demands a transformation of” airports who now mostly serve as public service providers and not commercial enterprises that are efficiently managed to generate more revenues and subsequently declare profits”, he added.

The President ACI African described FAAN’s relationship with ACI Africa as a very cordial one, “spanning over a decade and it has been a worthwhile and mutually benefitting relationship. I am proud to say that the same mutually benefitting relationship ‘ is enjoyed by other members of ACI Africa”.

“AC1 Africa works with its members and also liaises with other International bodies like ACI World, ICAO etc to ensure improved human capacity development by providing various standard and customised trainings in different skill areas to ensure safe, secure and efficiently managed airports”.
The ACI World President, Ms. Angela Gittens expressed appreciation to the Nigeria Government for hosting the conference and commended its efforts in the successful certification of two of its international airports in the country, urging that efforts expended early should be replicated on other airports.

She pledged the ACI support in assisting Nigeria to achieve its goals toward the full implementation of its Roadmap which would boost aviation business in the country and Africa.

Chairpersons, senate and House committees on Aviation in the National Assembly, senator Ibn Na’Allah and Mrs. Nkiruka Onyejeocha gave assurance that as lawmakers, they would continue to give attention to matter of safety, funding, security among others.
They call for the encouragement of General aviation, urging the delegates to come up with workable solutions to addressing challenges confronting the sector in the African continent.

According to statistics, in 2017, the sector facilitated the movement of over 7.6 billion passengers 109 million tons of cargo and recorded 89 million aircraIt movements.

The core objective of Airports Council International (ACI) as the voice of the world’s airports, has member numbering 176 countries with 1,940 airports.

350 delegates from 42 countries are attending the conference in Lagos. It is aimed at discussing the need for a change in the perception of business in African airports, to improve the profitability of infrastructure, optimize resources, generate profits and ensure the sustainability of the business as well as highlights the importance of industry partners and public-private partnership for innovative project creation, leadership and strategic planning as tools to achieve these goals.

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