The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN has received the certificate for upholding international standards as the Murtala Mohammed International airport Lagos is certified by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
The airport becomes the first airport in Nigeria to be certified by the CAA as meeting international standards in line with the rules set by the International civil Aviation Organization, ICAO for safety and security at aerodrome.
The airport is certified to take jumbo jet aircraft like the Boeing 747-400 series.
At the presentation of the certificate which was laced with so much fun fair in Lagos, Director-General, NCAA captain Muktar Usman said the current drive towards the certification of Nigerian airports is very significant not only as a requirement by ICAO and Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, but even more importantly as one of the critical safety targets set by the Abuja Ministerial Declaration of July 2012, that mandated all African states to certify their international airports.
He noted that it is also interesting to note that certification is an enabler for the attainment of a regional hub which Nigeria desires for Lagos and Abuja.
According to him what is most important is retaining the certificate to avoid it being withdrawn, revoked or suspended.
“while still basking in the euphoria of the issuance of the first aerodrome certificate, we should not lose sight of the additional responsibilities that post certification bestows on the Regulatory Authority as well as the Certified Aerodrome Operator for sustenance of the certification achieved.
Thus, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is required to immediately commence the implementation of a post certification surveillance plan for the continuous monitoring of airport services, facilities, procedures and manpower levels to ensure that the Acceptable Level of Safety is not infringed on.
NCAA in her Safety oversight responsibilities, would ensure compliance with ICAO and national regulations at all times, and where necessary, sanctions would be imposed or certificate suspended to enforce compliance with standards, he added.
Also commenting on the certification, Director, Aerodrome and Airspace standards, Engineer Odunowo Mohammed Tayyib list the benefits of the certification to include enhancement in the provision of safety critical aerodrome facilities, services, procedures and personnel, Enhancement in Collaborative Decision Making amongst airport stakeholders, especially between the Aerodrome Operator and the Civil Aviation Authority.
“Enhancement in safety and efficiency of flight operations as a result of improved facilities and services, Facilitate the development of regional hubs through improved capacity, safety and efficiency, Attract the inflow of capital investment into airport development and management e.g. concessioning, etc”.
Tayyib urged the FAAN management to ensure that they have enough funds to sustain the high standards achieved.
“Also the sustenance of aerodrome certification is dependent on the availability of a post certification Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement Plan. NCAA has developed a comprehensive surveillance plan for continuous monitoring of the agreed level of safety performance in aerodrome facilities, services or procedures, as well as compliance and enforcement measures, when necessary”.
Responding, Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma gave the assurance of never lowering its standards with the feat achieved with the certification.
” I want to assure the DG that we will sustain this certificate, we had a programme of certifying two airports once and then the next two like that until all the airports are certified”
He said as the Lagos airport gets its certification, Abuja airport is to follow immediately as major work had been done for certification, adding that they would continue to improve on the facilities of fixing and repairing.
Airport Manager, MMIA lagos, Mrs. Victoria Shinaba who was elated with the certification also promised to ensure that no stone is left unturned in retaining the status.
She noted that after many years in the process, she was delight that the efforts has paid off.
Highlight of the ceremony was the cutting of the certification cake, joining done by the DG and FAAN MD supported by other directors.