Stakeholders in the Nigerian Aviation industry have tasked the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to ensure the safety of passengers and airport users following the planned re-opening of the airports.
Speaking at the recent Webinar Conference organised by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC with the theme: Nigerian Aviation industry: Changing times changing strategies, the stakeholders urged NCAA and FAAN to ensure appropriate spacing at airports for passengers and other users, especially during peak period.
In his submission at the conference, the commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Mr. Akin Olateru tasked the airlines, ground handling firms and other service providers to think outside the box so as to be competitive in the post Covid-19 era.
Olateru observed that the pandemic has affected the income of all the operators in the industry, adding that the only way to survive is to think out of the box.
He emphasised the need for FAAN and NCAA to support businesses, stressing that bailout is not going to last forever.
The AIB boss call for a strong collaboration by all the players in the industry.
Olateru stressed the need for the players in the industry to review their strategies.
In his contribution, the president of Sabre Network West Africa and Aviation Round Table, Mr. Gabriel Olowo, observed that check-in process would pose a serious challenge to the industry.
Olowo expressed concern on the readiness of the industry to do business with minimal contact.
Speaking also, the chief executive officer of Air Peace Limited, Mr. Allen Onyema opposed the suggestions that middle seats on a flight should be left open or vacant.
He stated that the airlines have all devised ways to ensure limited contact during boarding as well as safeguard passengers.
According to him, travellers are not likely to contract the coronavirus disease onboard as passengers could catch the disease around the airport or any other environment before even getting to boarding point.
In hi words: “Covid-19 can be contracted anywhere and at any environment. We have devised a way to board and reduce contact a lot by first calling for the right window seats and after that and they are settled, we can call for the middle seats. After that we can call for the left window seats then you can call in the aisle seats at the right and then the aisle seats at the left. This will ensure interaction is minimal.
If we leave the middle empty then the least ticket would be N100, 000, which will not be good for airline and passengers.”
In his contribution also, the former director general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren enjoined industry players to embrace automation to reduce contact.
Demuren explained that passengers can do every ticket purchase, every check-in; even choose a seat via their laptop.
He said airport infrastructure also needs to improve so that automation can work better.