Benefits of airport certification, by ACI President

Certification of the Nigeria’s aerodromes would reduce insurance premium for the airline operators, President, Airport Council International (ACI), Saleh Dunoma, has said. He spoke with in Lagos. 
Insurance premium for operators in Nigeria ranks amongst the highest in the world. Aside insurance premium that are most likely to be reduced, the ACI boss said it would give the international aviation community the confidence to operate to the airport.
The certification of the airport is based on safety and it is required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to give the required confidence to international airline operators coming in, that given standards have been met.
 Dunoma said there are over 100 open items that need to be closed, stressing that some of them have to do with procedures. He said : “Those ones are easy to close.
Those that have to do with documentations are easy to close. For example, what we publish as FAAN as procedures or processes, when it is found.
For instance, if you say you have Category 9 fire service, you must make sure you have it at 9; in terms of equipment, number of people, in terms of your documentation and your processes. “So, if there are gaps in that, you have to make sure you close them. There are so many of them in so many areas.
“On the airfield, we have those that have do with the airfield lightings and the runway itself, on personnel, documentation, training, and on maintenance. There are so many covering the entire aspect of airport operations.As we speak, there are only few of them that needed to be closed”.
Dunoma, who is also the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), listed funds constraints as one of the challenges the agency faced in the certification processes. He noted that at the beginning, they thought they might not need much resources but at the end of the day, after the assessment, they discovered that they had a lot to do.
The only thing, he stated that they needed to do was to make provisions in their budget as special fund to address the certification, adding that once they got the assessment and the fund provided, their engineers swung into action.
The engineers, he disclosed came with the estimate of how some of the technical issues, some of the documentation and some of the new things they need to provide to make sure that they close the gaps.
He said, “So, with the provision in our budget, there was no issue again. Budget was provided and everything is going smoothly and that is why we are at this stage”.
Dunoma however, said he could not give exactly when the exercise would be concluded.
He said as far as AcI is concerned, they are getting ready and would make sure that they comply with all standards giving to them by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
He reiterated that they have worked towards that, and it is left for them to look at what they have done and confirm that they have properly closed all the items or not. He disclosed that the aviation regulatory body are to do the certification, maintaining that the ACI is ready.
He said : “Certification is important. We would not know that there are lot of things-little things that we needed to do to make sure that we close all such items.
Without the assessment, we would never know that there are open items. With certification, everything was looked into, including documentation, sometimes, a telephone number for example in the emergency contact telephone numbers.”
He reiterated that certification is making sure that everything is current and checked on regular basis. “It is not only getting the certificate but sustenance of the certificate is important. Yes, we have worked hard that we close the items, but we must sustain it.
“Also, what is important is the currency in terms of training of personnel. We must make sure that all personnel are properly trained. If you acquire an equipment for example, we must make sure that people that will operate the machine are trained on that particular machine”.
Wole Shadare