Home Ground Handling Ground Handling Companies Advocate Urgent Review of Domestic Handling Rates

Ground Handling Companies Advocate Urgent Review of Domestic Handling Rates

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…cite increasing forex rate, Diesel, ticket, security, safety, economic implications

In a bid to enhance safety and sustainability, the Association of Ground Handling Companies (AGHAN) has proposed a significant increase in domestic handling rates. 

The body says the move is coming after a decade of stagnant rates, coupled with economic challenges and security concerns.

In a letter addressed to the Acting Director General, of Civil Aviation, Captain Chris Najomo, with the heading ‘Proposed Increase in Domestic Safety Handling Rate in Nigeria’, signed by the AGHAN Chairman, Mr. Olaniyi Adigun, and Vice-Chairman, Ahmed Bashir Gulmah, notes that the current handling rates, last reviewed in September 2021, are deemed unsustainable due to the fluctuating exchange rates, rising local costs, and increased charges by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Ground handlers argue that these challenges impede their ability to maintain safety standards and efficient operations.

AGHAN proposes a substantial increase in handling rates for various aircraft types, citing the consistent decline of the Naira against major currencies and rising costs of equipment and services procured abroad. 

For domestic ramp operations, the body is proposing a base rate in naira for B737 at N400,000 as against the previous rate of N70,000, CRJ, EMB N250,000 as against the old rate of N50,000 and Dash 8 at N150,000 as against the old rate of N25,000.

The Association emphasizes the economic implications of the outdated rates on the sector’s growth and ability to remain efficient.

Highlighting safety as a top priority, AGHAN underscores the need for adequate training and certification of technical staff and drivers, it adds that the current rates hinder their ability to meet international safety standards, jeopardizing the security of equipment, travelers, and the aviation industry as a whole.

It asserts that the Nigerian Government loses millions annually due to static handling rates. 

The Association therefore calls for cooperation, urging the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to favorably consider the proposed rates, scheduled to take effect from March 31, 2024, to ensure the continued provision of safe and secure ground handling operations.

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