The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Thursday said domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N505.2 billion in 2017.
The regulatory body said it arrived at the figures after reconciliation with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
This is a record rise in sales to N82.7 billion (14.2 per cent), compared to 2016 when the value of tickets sold was N411,564,564,692.80.
The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman, made the disclosure at the quarterly business breakfast meeting of the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos.
Usman, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, NCAA, Adamu Abdullahi, said eight domestic airlines sold N93.6 billion worth of tickets, while the 32 airlines on the international routes sold tickets worth N411.6 billion, during the period under review.
According to NCAA records, in 2016, domestic airlines realised N79,482,958,601.60 from ticket sales, while international airlines realised N342,923,645,298.71 from ticket sales.
He said there were 90 sanctions or penalties on airlines, including 15 pilots, five cabin crew, engineers, a private security firm, four Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMO) and five airlines.
He noted, however, that sanctioning was not an achievement but a deterrent made to ensure that violators do not repeat violations.
Speaking on some of the NCAAâ€™s Key Performance Indexes (KPI), Usman stated that the NCAA in the past four years has had steady improvements in certain areas, especially as regards professional advancement.
He stated that for the third year running, the countryâ€™s aviation industry has recorded zero accidents and this was due to airlinesâ€™ adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), which are brought about by well-trained safety instructors.
The key performance index also showed advancement in licensing, which indicated that from January to December 2017 licensed pilots increased by 130 from 2016, as the number rose to 2,356 from 2,226.
The NCAA boss further stated that under the period of evaluation, passenger traffic for 21 airports in the country stood at a total of 25,528 as average daily departure was 12,761, while departure stood at 12,767 with 305 aircraft movement.
He said the amount realised from the sale of tickets would have been higher if not for the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for six weeks to enable the government rehabilitate its runway.
â€œA stable forex regime, effective implementation of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business as well as the resumption of flight activities to the Maiduguri Airport, earlier closed due to insecurity, contributed to the increase,â€ he said.
Also, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said the NCAA, in accordance with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), had certified Lagos and Abuja airports worthy for maximum flight operations.
Dunoma, who was represented by the General Manager, Safety Services, FAAN, Mr. Elifue Agbi, said the agency was collaborating with Airport Council International (ACI) to certify the Kano and Port Harcourt airports.
â€œWe have started the process of certifying these airports, following the successes we recorded in Lagos and Abuja. Enugu and Kaduna airports will follow subsequently,â€™â€™ he said.
Earlier, the President of ART, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, said there was need for aviation agencies to set up KPI to measure their achievements from time to time.
Olowo said the group would continue to ensure the advancement of the industry by consistently promoting safety and professionalism through effective working relationship with government and other stakeholders.