In order to create a conducive environment for aviation and tourism, a non governmental body, Aviation round Table (ART) has urged the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to initiate policies to review and suspend taxes, tariffs and charges (within a given time frame) in order to bring succour to aviation and allied businesses in Nigeria.

Such policies, according to stakeholders should address airline survival and growth with a view to lowering the recent hike in air fare on the domestic scene.

The Consumer Rights Protection directorate in the NCAA should live up to its billing in ensuring maximum comfort and compensation for the travelling public promptly where infractions are established.

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“We have advocated times without number, the importance of constituting governing boards for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other aviation agencies in the Nigerian aviation sector. These Boards will not only assist the DGCA and other CEOs in formulating enduring policies for the agencies but will also serve as the barometer for ensuring the good corporate governance practice of transparency, accountability and responsibility which will cascade down to all segments in the sector.

With the presence of the boards, corruptive tendencies associated with political interference will be appropriately checkmated and curbed by a focused and knowledgeable board. We urge the Minister of Aviation to do the needful.

“For us in the ART, the interest of the Nigerian State and her people must be paramount at all times. This necessitated our renewed call for a comprehensive review of Bilateral and Plurilateral Air Services Agreements to suit our present circumstances.

“ART has, on several occasions recommended the development of a local hub to effectively protect local airlines against the predatory foreign airlines granted multiple entry into local destinations. The ART has variously embarked on policy advocacy on the need to balance the interests of local tourism players and the need to encourage the growth of budget airlines.

According the ART, as attractive as Open skies might appear to be, modifications as would stimulate fair competition and reciprocal rights must be observed.

“In our view, Open skies is not devoid of regulation. There must be a balance between its tenets and the national interest. The recent commendable audacity of the Air Peace Airline to embark on the Lagos-London Gatwick route and the dust it generated is a case in point. The Nigerian State must rise up in defence of its own without apology.”

While describing the knee-jerk reaction to aircraft incidents and accidents as dangerous and hurtful, the body maintained the incidences of runway incursion and excursion are not unusual in aviation practice.

“Runway excursion prevention is complex because the effect of the risk and resilience factors is highly cumulative. Some of the factors that contribute to runway excursions include but are not limited to the runway condition, maintenance and reporting. To this list, add- aircraft performance and operations, collaborative approach path management and adherence to robust policies for safe descent and approach planning, stabilised approach, safe landing and go-around . The solution to these challenges can only be done together by the NCAA and the NSIB in a coordinated way not through arbitrary pronouncements that are not only meddlesome, dangerous and risky but violates due process.

“At the ART, we aggregate consensus on global best practices and interventions on regulatory recommendations in furtherance of our cardinal objectives which is the advancement of aviation in Nigeria through constant engagement with the government and leveraging on platforms such as today’s event to embark on knowledge sharing with the industry’s stakeholders eminently represented in this hall, by your good selves. The ART stands for excellence in all human endeavours.”

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