Kwara Vows to Make Aviation College Best in sub-Saharan Africa

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The Kwara State government has vowed to sustain the status of the International Aviation College, Ilorin, Kwara state, the best in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Chairman, Board of Directors of the college, Captain Edward Boyo said the college has remained the first in sub -Saharan Africa region established to meet the future challenges of producing efficient and competent pilots for aircraft and helicopters, comparable with their counterparts in any part of the world.

According to him, the college has increased its fleet of aircrafts from two to five in order to meet up the training of its students for effective and optimum results.

Boyo made this known in Ilorin recently during the official commissioning of the mini-aviation fuel dump built by the management of the college to meet the current challenge of paucity of aviation fuel in the aviation industry.

The fuel dump was commissioned by the Kwara state Speaker, Hon. Ali Ahmad in the College .

According to him, “if you look around within the 360 degree you will see the expanse of the aviation college. This is the property of the people of Kwara state.

“It was a bare land before, this college was established from the wisdom and leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Olubukola Saraki who was the former Governor of Kwara state who initiated the idea .

“From point of establishment we had two aircraft but if you look round now you will see signs of progress. You will see hanger and inside the hanger you will see some assets which have continued to grow.”

Boyo explained that “the availability of the newly commissioned fuel dump in the college makes the training more effective for our students because when you train a student and there is time breakage you have to take him back to the beginning again and we will be able to turnout more students in shorter time.”

He added that in addition to the fuel dump, the college has built another hangar for helicopters

“It is a project we have embarked on in partnership with the Nigeria Navy, their decision to work with us is a sign of confidence in the IAC. These helicopters and additional ones will be put inside the hanger.

“This will be the first school in sub-Saharan Africa that has capacity to produce pilots in aircraft and helicopters.

Boyo, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways however noted that the hanger direction has no financial impact on the resources of Kwara, saying ” it is fully funded by a joint venture agreement with the Nigeria Navy and College. Upon completion it will be co-owned by the Navy and the IAC.”

The chairman also noted that the college is building a tremendous relationship with the Nigerian Air Force as it has graduated several pilots for them and the civil community.

The Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad while commissioning the project stressed that the huge development in the college is marked by internal effort that was attained by the state government.

“These days you have people telling the politicians to go and deliver, this college is a testimony of action that is even bigger than words. Unless you come here you don’t know what is happening.

“My single comment is that I will urge Nigerians and governments at all levels that hope to train their wards in any field of aviation to stop sending students outside but come to the college,” Ahmad said

The speaker noted that those who established this college few years ago have the foresight that one day the economy will shrink and we will no longer have the luxury whether to go to Malaysia or IAC Ilorin.

He said: ” I’m urging various state governments that have withdrawn their students abroad because of dwindling economy to bring them here in IAC.

“It is a first-class institution in the Africa sub-region with versatile training in almost all field of aviation. I wish Nigerians and Kwarans will wake up to the benefit of the college”.

Earlier, the Rector of the College, Capt. Abdulmumini Abdulkarim explained that the genesis of the project, saying that the scarcity of Jet A1 (aviation fuel) recently in the country trigger the concept of building the mini-fuel dump in the college.

He said: ” for one month we weren’t able to fly and our single supplier here Ilorin that Lubcon had some challenges and the raining season which enable our students to go back to classroom if not we would have lost two months.

“The board in its wisdom approves the project for us to go now with the fuel dump. We went through all the process regulatory based on international standard and civil aviation guides.

“We discussed with the aviation fuel handler experts in Lagos and it took us six weeks to get here. The total cost approved by the board to put the project is about N5.7million.”

Arik Workers Join Aviation Unions

The three leading industry unions have inaugurated their executive members in Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Arik Air.

The ceremony, which took place at the airline’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos over the weekend, saw hundreds of the airline’s staff joining the three available unions.
The unions are the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of new members including the executives, NAAPE’s Assistant General Secretary, Organising, NAAPE, Comrade Femi Ajagbe said the inauguration signified new beginning not just in the airline, but in the industry at large.

He said that the unions would ensure that the welfares of members are not taken for granted and equally promised to support the airline in its developmental plans.

He said: “It is really a welcome development for us to have members in Arik Air. Arik Air is the biggest airline in the industry with the highest number of staff both in the technical department and support staff.

“Our major aim is to grow the industry, ensure that workers welfares are well taken care of while we will also ensure that the airline continues to grow and remain in business.”

With this inauguration, Arik Air became the first indigenous carrier to have its staff join the unions. Before the swearing-in of members, it was a really tug-of-war between the parties involved as the unions had over the years pressed for unionisation in the airline and others.

Ajagbe further disclosed that plans have reached an advanced stage to equally inaugurate members in Dana Air, Air Peace, FirstNation, Med-View and a few other airlines and organisations in the industry.

Aviation Stakeholders to Host Sirika

Aviation stakeholders across the country would on Friday September 23, play host to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in its maiden conference.

According to the conference coordinator, Mr. Michael Chikeka the conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Hotel will help government to address key issues relating concession, galvanising support of industries such as banks and insurance companies in process of implementation.

Chikeka said the conference aimed at identifying conflict areas and address same to ensure smooth transition of concession implementation.

“The Conference will help Industry Members with diverse opinion to understand that Concession is the way to go if the Industry is to meet International Standards.”

“This Conference will articulate the various submissions on airport privatisation in the past. Such as the works of the Committee set up by past administrations one of which was led by veteran Aviator Captain Dele Ore. It wouldfurther galvanize stakeholders’ and support industries such as banks and insurance companies to identify, understand, be involved and be relevant in the airport privatization implementation process”

According to him, speakers at the event include, Senator Hadi Sirika minister of state for aviation, Dr. Pat Utomi, Senator Ben Bruce, Aminu Dike, Capt Dele Ore, Dr. Harold Demuren, a former Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA.

ICAO, IATA, ACI to Address Aviation
Security Challenges

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Airports Council International (ACI) have joined forces to address evolving aviation security risks with integrated solutions.

Key topics such as securing landside spaces at airports; information sharing among governments; managing the risks of home-grown terrorism and preventing cyber threats will top the agenda of the 25th AVSEC (Aviation Security) World Conference, taking place from the 25 to 27 October 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Aviation security needs to evolve in step with changing threats,” said Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General, ICAO. “The global policy and regulatory framework has to adapt effectively and in a timely fashion to address this increasingly dynamic risk. Having so many global aviation security experts and leading thinkers gathered together at AVSEC World provides a valuable opportunity to identify common objectives and combine the industry’s strengths and resources towards achieving better aviation security and facilitation.”

“Flying is secure. Keeping it that way is the responsibility of governments and a challenge for all parties involved in air transport,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA. “Aviation is the business of freedom. But recent months have shown that it remains a target for terrorists. AVSEC World strengthens the vital partnership between industry and government on security. And it is a catalyst that helps to turn our common interest into a shared agenda to stay a step ahead of those with an agenda of evil.”

“The recent tragic attacks on Brussels and Ataturk airports have brought aviation security sharply into focus in the worldwide media,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “Ensuring the security of the traveling public is a top priority for ACI and its members, and a prerequisite for a sustainable aviation system. This is a goal that can only be accomplished through close collaboration among stakeholders. The landscape of aviation security is changing, and AVSEC World 2016 will lay the groundwork for where we’re going and the best way to get there.

Liu, de Juniac and Gittens will all deliver remarks at AVSEC World. Additionally, the conference will feature keynote addresses by Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger, Administrator, US Transportation Security and Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission.

The event is expected to attract more than 500 delegates in security-related activities at airlines, airports, government agencies, defense and equipment and technology manufacturers.