A Boost for Aviation Business

Chinedu Eze

Aviation is a global industry that has uniform standards in every country and what is unique about the sector is that anyone coming to any country knows the he will met the same aeronautical regulations and similar immigration laws about air travel.

It is the uniform regulation that enables airlines to operate to any part of the world from its hub and this has also enabled investment, knowing that investing in airport facility, business around the airport or ancillary services will attract similar rules.

In air travel, Nigeria is a big market in Africa but over the years it has not attracted the kind of investment that should reflect the size of the market both from local and international investors. This is what prompted the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to create opportunity to bring in potential investors from all over the world to review available investment potential in the aviation industry and other areas of business in Nigeria.

The Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu put it this ways, “We observed that in Nigeria, we don’t have any platform that is recurrent for stakeholders to sit down, assess their position, analyse it, share knowledge and take necessary steps to promote cooperation, collaboration and the general progress of the industry. It is like everyone is doing its own, we don’t sit down to collaborate and cooperate. It is when you cooperate that you have synergy. So, FAAN decided to arrange it, organise it and implement this national aviation conference in the interest of the Nigerian aviation industry. It is called FAAN National Aviation Conference (FNAC) because FAAN is funding it 100 per cent. We are doing it as a form of national service for the whole industry,” he said.

Many innovations, transformation of a business climate and attraction of business opportunities could be whelped from such meeting. As government agency, FAAN organising the conference is giving assurance to potential businesses that any opportunity that comes from the conference is certified and authentic because it is coming from renowned   government agency.

Yadudu explained that the summit is coming from FAAN to all the agencies, airport stakeholders, passenger organisations, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the media, labour unions, Airport Council International (ACI), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), embassies, state governments across Nigerian and other interested organisations.

“There will be lectures and presentations by the industry stakeholders on their key concerns. At the beginning, FAAN was trying to develop topics for the participants, but we agreed later that participants should present papers on critical issues they want to bring to the industry. This included all the aviation agencies.  Also, the airlines will present papers on their most critical areas of concerns. The event will be annually and it will be a major event for FAAN,” the FAAN Managing Director said.

This means that the agency has created a platform for breakthrough ideas, which will be brainstormed and become the nucleus of new policies that may be birthed to guide the industry in future.

It would also serve as melting pot where ideas would be created, escalated, debated and reconciled. Airlines coming, as service users would put on the table the issues that gnaw at their operations, offer new ideas and expectations and the service providers would deliberate over them and state their positions. Also international orgnisations will reiterate their benchmark and industry operators and agencies will review them and dovetail the regulations to their operating standards. 

Captain Yadudu said, “The major substance is to promote collaboration and cooperation towards the development of the industry and all stakeholders. It is a Nigerian event and it is for Nigerian aviation. Things we might discuss may not be outside Nigeria. So, we will look at ourselves and discuss issues as they affect us. Nigerian experts will have much more at stake than foreign experts. So, that is why we are making it a Nigerian aviation industry issue.”

The Conference set in Abuja from June 14-17, 2022 was not initiated this year as it was supposed to hold from April 1-4, 2020 but was truncated by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic which grounded the sector and entire world but with recovery however slow, FAAN saw the vista of opportunity to galvanize the industry and give it a direction.

FAAN said that FNAC is set to promote collaboration and cooperation towards the development of the industry by all stakeholders and in turn, same stakeholders feel someone is listening which is key to changing the narrative of aviation in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), service providers like the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET), airline operators, caterers, travel agencies and others are expected to engage from their various perspectives and look at all standards and recommended practices in aviation and how they are domesticated in the country to make the industry vibrant and serve better.

FAAN said this year’s theme is, “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport,” which would enable stakeholders to brainstorm and share knowledge and ideas on contemporary developments which will provide veritable solutions to the growth of the industry as it affects Nigeria.

The agency explained that in the course of this engaging conference, there would be presentations by experts and professionals in the industry including: Alicia Stephens (World Bank Group), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu(Managing Director (FAAN), Chairman Air Peace Limited, Chief Allen Onyeama, Capt Roland Iyayi Managing Director, Top Brass, EmekaOffor- Ag. Executive Secretary/chief Executive NIPC and Peter Onyeri(Safety), Dr. Anne Egbadon-Eyinaya fsi, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe and Professor Adesoki Adesuga, Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA).

FNAC is also expected to attract local and international investors through its investment forum, which would feature on 16th and 17th June, 2022and dwell prospects with opportunities in the Nigerian aviation industry.

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