FAAN hosts the 59th Conference of Airports Council International (Africa)
The following is the welcome address by the Managing Director/CEO, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, to the plenary session of the 59th Airports Council International (Africa) Board and Committees Meetings & Regional Conference and Exhibition. The event, hosted by FAAN, held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos on 14 – 20 April, 2018. It is my pleasure to, on behalf of the government and good people of Nigeria, welcome the Board members and other delegates to the 59th Airports Council International (ACI) conference holding in Lagos. Nigeria.
The importance of aviation as a critical tool for social and economic development cannot be overemphasized, given its potential for immense contributions to the broader economy. In 2017, the sector facilitated the movement of over 7.6 billion passengers. 109 million tons of cargo and 89 million aircraft movements were recorded. With a highly mobile population of 180 million people, these explain the importance Nigeria attaches to the sector and the reason Mr. President readily approved the hosting of the event.
The core objective of ACI, as the voice of the world's airports, makes the association a ready partner of member states numbering 176 countries with 1,940 airports.
Its role as a veritable platform for the development of best practices in airports management, professionalism and key driver of policies in the aviation industry since 1991, gives ACI a pride of place amongst associations in the global aviation industry.
We commend the Council for its contributions and look forward to greater commitments to growth in the continent.
The theme for the conference – Business Transformation for Sustainable Development of African Airports – is most appropriate, coming at a time most African countries including Nigeria, are intensifying efforts to improve aviation infrastructure to boost the continent's economic development. Though these efforts have over the years significantly improved the state of aviation infrastructure in the continent, African States nonetheless still need to upgrade facilities, improve operations, increase service quality, and security and airspace safety.
In order to transform aviation business in Africa, countries would be expected to: continue to attain and maintain global safety standards; strive to achieve competitiveness and user friendliness; install infrastructure and navigational aids to maximize aircraft utilization for passenger and cargo movement; achieve costs competitiveness; develop integrated multimodal transport system around the airports; and diversify revenue lines.
For sustainable development of African airports, new strategies must also evolve. These strategies include holistic planning for defined development targets; effective and efficient financing plan; and successful implementation. The role of partnership with the private sector cannot be over-emphasised.
All these would be complemented by a reliable legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalise policy.
In Nigeria, majority of airport infrastructure are government-owned. This administration has continued to promote infrastructural development, facilities renewal and the implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the growth and sustainability of the sector. Some of the key events and projects undertaken to achieve our objectives include: ·Hosting the international World
Aviation Forum (MAP) in Abuja, Nigeria ·Certification of two of the nation's key airports namely – Murtala Muhammed lnternational Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja ·Construction of five new international terminals (Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu) to expand passenger handling capacity to 15 million annually
·Implementation of Aviation Sector Roadmap, which was approved by the President in 2016, aimed at opening opportunities for investment ·Concession of four international airports as well as the establishment of Search and Rescue Unit to be implemented through Public and Private Partnership ·Establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with the mandate to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria ·Issuance of Executive Orders aimed at facilitating and easing entry experience of investors, visitors and travellers at the nation's ports.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is clear that the Airport Council International and the Federal Government of Nigeria are in sync on the development of the aviation industry in Africa. The full implementation of the Aviation Roadmap, which is progressing in line with milestone targets, will result in the transformation of business and economic growth in the sector.
Government therefore eagerly awaits … your deliberations and actionable points.
This administration is committed to attracting investors and investments into Nigeria and is providing appropriate legislation, infrastructure and security to protect them.
Our goal is long-term business sustainability and we are happy to have a dependable ally in ACI.
MD/CEO, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Saleh Dunoma