By Friday Nwosu
Nigeria ‘s Airport Authority Boss, has said the country will continue to play a leading role in advocating collaboration among aviation stakeholders in Africa to address major challenges in development of the air transport sector.
The Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Sale Dunoma, stated this while receiving the Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathy at the exhibition stand of FAAN at the 55th Airports Council International (ACI) Africa board meeting and Regional Conference and Exhibition taking place in Cairo, Egypt.
According to him, the Federal Government of Nigeria is attracting private investors to partner and work with the Government to explore the various opportunities in the sector.
According to him, “Nigerian airports are playing important international roles in linking the most populous country in Africa to the rest of the world, and it is constructing four new terminals to increase its capacity for facilitation and processing”. Earlier, while declaring the conference open, the Egyptian Minister of Aviation had said that his country was planning to boost capacities of its key airports.
Angela Gittens, the Director-General of ACI worldwide, said the theme of the conference “Economic sustainability of African airports: Challenges and opportunities” would address improvements in aviation safety and security in the light of new threats affecting the industry.
In his welcome address, Pascal Komla, president of ACI, Africa had noted that the conference provided a unique opportunity for aviation executives, experts and exhibitors from across the globe to network, share information and forge a common vision for the future businesses of African airports.
The 55th ACI Africa Board meeting and regional conference and exhibition presented a platform for industry experts to come together and explore the challenges faced by the continent and find solutions that would boost the economic growth of Africa.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Airport Council International (ACI), Angela Gittens, has commended the airport authority for the success it achieved recently during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).
Gittens stated this in an interview during the 55th Airport Council International (ACI) Africa Board and Working Meetings & Regional Conference and Exhibition in Cairo, Egypt.
She emphasized, “We are very proud of how the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has improved on safety and security.”
“I will hope that with the kind of success achieved, we would be able to call on them to help other airports”, she continued.
Gittens also noted that, prior to the audit, FAAN had invited ACI – APEX for Safety review at airports in Nigeria, thus providing guidance and facilitating improvements through monitoring and best practice exchanges, which addressed potential vulnerable areas and identified gaps.
In her keynote address, Gittens stated that Nigeria was among the three African countries whose 97 airport professionals were trained last year in understanding annex 14, Aerodrome Certification, Airport Safety Implementation, and Airside Safety and Operations.
The organisation currently consists of 62 regular members in 47 countries managing 250 airports, as well as 27 World Business Partners.
ACI-Africa represents African airport operators. Its main mission is to promote the collective interests of airports and the communities they serve, and to promote excellence in airport management and operations, helping to provide passengers with a safer, more secure, more efficient and environmentally responsible air transport system.