Aviation Conference: stakeholders call for collaboration, sustainability of industry
The second edition of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Aviation Conference, Christened FNAC, was a roll call of who is who in the aviation industry.
The venue, International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, was a beehive of activities, for the four days the conference lasted. For those that were in attendance, it was one big and educative event that should be replicated annually, to drive home the much needed development in the aviation industry.FAAN was applauded heavily by the participants, for organizing such a successful conference at a time the stake-holders are clamoring for genuine change and development of the industry, after two years it suffered devastating blow from the Covid-19 Pandemic that crippled activities in the aviation industry, globally.
The conference which was the brainchild of the erstwhile aviation minister, Captain Hadi Sirika, and his foot soldiers in the aviation agencies touched on a number of issues bordering on operations and development of the industry, with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), identified as a critical agency being the owner of all airports where all activities in the industry revolves.
The theme of the Conference “Sustainability of the Aviation Industry in Nigeria”, afforded all Chief Executive Officers in the industry, the ground handlers, the aviation unions, the airlines and other ancillary service providers to speak as it concerns their operations. The Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAAN), Captain Nuhu Musa whose paper in a way, summarized the theme of the conference, talking about the regulators perspective, informed the august gathering that, NCAA, having identified what he called three Prong basic pillars of economics namely: Social, Environmental, Information Technology and digitalization, explained that these pillars have remained a propelling force even as he reinforced the commitment of the regulatory body on its oversight functions, ever.
He however acknowledged the fact that NCAA more than ever needs the collaborative efforts of other stake holders to succeed in its primary duty of proper regulation of the industry.
“The whole essence of NCAA is the sustainability of the aviation industry, to create an enabling environment for the efficient and effective operations of all industry service providers.
The sustainability of the aviation industry in Nigeria from a regulatory perspective is critical to ensure that the industry continue to operate in a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible manner.
The NCAA plays a key role in developing and implementing regulations that promote sustainability.
Working in partnership with other stakeholders will contribute to achieving future growth with the highest levels of efficiency and sustainability. The long term sustainability of aviation is ensured, through partnerships focused o0n addressing aviation challenges and proffering solutions”.
The conference which recorded (14) plenary sessions with keynote speakers drawn across the industry, identified the need for all stake-holders in the system to collaborate with each other to drive home the much desired sustainable growth in the industry. Whereas the NCAA was urged to collaborate with other industry stake-holders and government agencies to achieve a 50 percent carbon emission reduction by 2060, airlines in Nigeria equally were advised to invest and key into the satellite based navigation systems already provided by the Nigeria Airspace management Agency (NAMA), to reduce flight time and carbon emission.
“The NCAA should enhance its regulatory oversight to encourage or where necessary reposition the industry to contribute significantly to the nation’s economy through the three basic pillars of Economic, Social, Environmental, and Information Technology & digitalization. The authority should collaborate with other industry stakeholders and government agencies to achieve a 50 percent Carbon emission reduction by 2060.
NCAA should review the information Communication Technology and Cyber-Security Policy of the Federal Government as it affects the Aviation sector. The NCAA should head the various stakeholders in a collaborative effort to develop a strategic plan for Aviation industry that will drive and enhance the sustainability of the industry.
Such a plan must cover all processes from design, procurement to implementation. Airlines in Nigeria should invest and key into the satellite-based navigation systems already provided by NAMA to reduce flight time and carbon emissions.
Data harmonization is sine qua non for the development and growth of the industry, there is therefore a need to develop a credible data repository as proper data analysis is key for adequate planning and decision-making.
The airports business model must change from the airport being a passenger hub to an energy hub as green energy hub s key to embracing sustainable aviation industry. To remain sustainable, the aviation industry must be innovative, constantly review its processes and invest in Research and Development.
To facilitate ease of traveling for passengers, domestic Network Alliance (code-share) should be introduced to mitigate disruptions of passengers travel schedule and plan”.
On the aviation workers perspective towards sustainability, the National President, National union of Air Transport employees, (NUATE), Mr. Nnabue Ben held the view that, the survival and sustainability of any industry rests squarely on the human capital, no matter the amount of monetory investment.“Presently, global standard is observed as trouble standard is observed as double standard.
Stakeholders mouth global standard of aviation, and employers demand global standard of work based on global standard ratings of professionals (ICAO SARP). But, wages are Nigerian standard, not global standard. Even this is not evenly applied. Thus, sustainability demands that global standards in performances should attract global standards in remuneration.
Sustainability of the industry rests squarely on its human resources coefficient. This refers to availability of right personnel in required numbers. It refers also to the capacity of the industry to produce these personnel on a continuous basis”.
The urgent need to tap into the cargo areas, waiting to be fully harnessed by all and sundry in the system was equally identified. The two leading ground handlers, SAHCO and NAHCO Aviance, who made good representation of themselves at the conference however appealed for understanding and co-operations of all stake-holders essentially due to the peculiar environment which they blamed on multiple taxation and fee by different agencies of government that seek to inhibit free-flow of operations. While stressing on the need to encourage export to stimulate the Nigerian economy, stake holders were equally encouraged to ensure that the campaign is carried to the farmers across the country.“
All-State owned Airports with Avia cargo interest should at the inception of the Airport project make provisions for logistics, storage and connectivity.
Government Agencies involved in agriculture should collaborate with the Aviation industry stakeholders to ensure that the required pre-processing standards are met prior to products being delivered to the airport”.
By and large, the second edition of FAAN aviation national conference indeed was laudable.