How General Aviation can stimulate sector growth-NCAA DG

 

The Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu said Nigeria would get to a stage where its General Aviation would help to grow the nation’s aviation industry, stressing that at the moment, Nigeria is not quite there in terms of General Aviation (GA).

Nuhu, while speaking to journalists said GA can bring as much revenue as the airline industry because of great potential, hinting that it is one area Nigeria is looking at.

General aviation is a subset of aviation consisting of chartered passenger aircraft, private aircraft, and other components of civil aviation that are not regularly scheduled airline flights.

The growth of air transportation in the past 40 years also saw the introduction of smaller private jets and the expansion of smaller airports near major cities.

“General aviation (GA) is very critical and if you look at any aviation nation that is developed today, they have a thriving GA and GA produces experience for the airline industry. GA has the potential to grow. We are not quite there yet.

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“The feedback is good, but we are just getting over the audit. GA is quite huge and if I may ask. I will say the GA can bring as much revenue as the airline industry because it is quite huge and has great potential. It is something that we will do gradually so as not to overstretch our resources.”

Speaking on Civil Aviation Master Plan (CAMP), the NCAA chief stated that the agency had an agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) where he signed for Nigeria as a signatory.

His words, “CAMP is a comprehensive plan for Nigeria, looking at all the components of the aviation industry, looking at what we have put in place, the government aviation, economic projection for Nigeria, trying to build a roadmap for us as a country for the next 10 years.”

He said what it does is that every sector would know what it needs to do, the regulatory body and the industry growing at a particular rate annually, with plans to push this growth.

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“After the audit, the implementation will start and the good thing is that when they come to Nigeria, they are going to talk with aviation agencies, the airlines, finance people, tourism boards, customs, and others. Everything that is remotely or directly connected to the aviation industry will be involved in this. So, we can have an all-encompassing roadmap for Nigeria’s aviation industry.”

“If you look at the industry in Nigeria, we are under-traveled, but the sector is growing with several orders by our airlines. We need to grow the industry with the growth of our airlines. It is going to help us and also, it is a requirement and we are killing many birds with one stone,”, he added.

Taking a general look at the sector in Nigeria, Nuhu expressed satisfaction with the sector amid so many challenges bedeviling it.

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He reiterated that from records dating back to 2011, there were only 16 AOCs but right now, “We have 32, out of which 12 are scheduled operators. We cannot keep operating the way we are operating. Changes have to come in and we have started the process, we are acquiring regulatory software and in the next one or two weeks, we are going to be ready with the software, and training of our staff is going to start on the use of the software.”

 It is a three years programme and at the end of the period, we are going to make sure that 80 to 90 percent of NCAA processes are automated and also the third party is going to be automated.”

Wole Shadare