Air­lines staff fault FG on planned merger of avi­a­tion agencies

Daily Trust - - AVIATION - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

The Air Trans­port Ser­vices Se­nior Staff As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (ATSSAN) has kicked against the merger by the Federal Govern­ment of the Nige­rian Airspace Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA), the Nige­rian Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Agency (NiMET) and the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity(NCAA).

ATSSSAN said in a state­ment in La­gos that it was shocked by the an­nounced merger which it noted came at a time when Nigeria, as a sig­na­tory to the con­ven­tion on in­ter­na­tional civil avi­a­tion, has in the past 14 years made sig­nif­i­cant progress in in­sti­tu­tion­al­is­ing and nur­tur­ing the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity into a sound civil avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tory in­sti­tu­tion that is now a ref­er­ence model of a CAA in the West African sub-re­gion and in Africa.

ATSSSAN said it “views the de­ci­sion of the govern­ment to merge the NCAA - a reg­u­la­tory en­tity with NAMA and NiMET both ser­vice providers within the avi­a­tion in­dus­try as ill-timed and ill-con­ceived and in­im­i­cal to the sus­te­nance of the feet Nigeria has at­tained in the area of in­ter­na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO) and the Federal Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion of the United States Of Amer­ica (FAA Cat. 1).”

While ATSSSAN recog­nised the pre­rog­a­tive of the Federal Govern­ment to re­struc­ture and con­sol­i­date its paras­tatals for what­ever rea­sons, it said it was of the opin­ion that the govern­ment should have con­sulted widely on the is­sue be­fore mak­ing such pro­nounce­ments.

ATSSSAN re­minded the Federal Govern­ment about Nigeria’s obli­ga­tions un­der the Chicago con­ven­tion 1944 and the con­se­quen­tial com­mit­ment to sub­ject its civil avi­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties to reg­u­lar rou­tine and sched­uled over­sight/in­spec­tion by ICAO which is charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of set­ting stan­dards for civil avi­a­tion and ob­serv­ing same glob­ally through its uni­ver­sal safety au­dit over­sight pro­gramme.

It added that Nigeria has and main­tains sim­i­lar com­mit­ment with the in­ter­na­tional mar­itime or­gan­i­sa­tion pur­suant to its be­ing a sig­na­tory to the world mar­itime con­ven­tion. Chair­man of Air­line Oper­a­tors of Nigeria (AON), Cap­tain No­gie Meg­gi­son, urged govern­ment to re­con­sider grant­ing per­mis­sion for mul­ti­ple en­try points to for­eign car­ri­ers into Nigeria, say­ing the ar­range­ment is killing indige­nous air­lines.

Meg­gis­son, who is also the Pres­i­dent of JedAir, stated this in La­gos in a chat with news­men.

He said un­til govern­ment put in place poli­cies to pro­tect indige­nous air­lines, the sec­tor’s po­ten­tials for growth would be stunted with mul­ti­ple en­try points granted to for­eign air­lines.

Ac­cord­ing to him, for­eign air­lines should rather en­ter into in­ter­line agree­ment with lo­cal air­lines so their pas­sen­gers can be moved across the coun­try each time they fly in.

He said: “We have al­lowed the for­eign­ers to take the jobs of our pi­lots and en­gi­neers. We have al­lowed the for­eign­ers to do mul­ti­ple en­tries into our air­ports be­cause our poli­cies are so loose and we al­low them to take all the pas­sen­gers at the detri­ment of the Nige­rian car­ri­ers. It is ei­ther we start to eat, or we will be eaten. It is an em­bar­rass­ment to know how back­ward we have fallen.

From Left: Nahco Aviance Chair­man, Malam Suleiman Yahyah; Prof Ummu Ahmed Jalingo; Vice-Chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, and the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nahco Aviance, Mr. Kay­ode Oluwase­gun – Ojo at the en­dow­ment of Pro­fes­so­rial Chair in Avi­a­tion Eco­nom­ics by Nahco aviance at BUK…. re­cently.

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