Reps canvass more funding for aviation agencies

The House of Representatives has sought for more funding of the aviation agencies to enable them cope with the increase in demands for air travel.

Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji stated this in Abuja on Monday during an interaction between  the committee and  the heads of agencies led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hassan Musa.

The interaction was at the instance of a motion on the urgent need to investigate claims of engine failure and bird strikes that almost caused the fatal crash of aircraft departing Kano and Port Harcourt Airports to Abuja respectively.

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The House in plenary had mandated the committee on aviation to summon the Ministry and its agencies to give clarifications on the two incidents to avoid a major disaster in future.


National Assembly, Abuja

The chairman demanded assurances from the team which included the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) Captain Musa Nuhu, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadadu, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkotu, and the Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau, (AIB), Akin Olateru that flying was still safe.

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He stressed that the insecurity in the country has placed high premiums on air travel which required that the Ministry and the agencies need to do more to sustain the safety records the country has achieved in that past years.

The permanent Secretary assured that the problem of bird strike was a world-wide phenomenon and the several studies have proved that it doesn’t pose much threat to safety.

His assertion was corroborated by the trio of  Nuhu, Yadudu  and Olateru.

Yadudu specifically stated that bird strikes impacts negatively more finances of airlines than safety, adding that it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes up to a million to replace an engine damaged by bird strike.

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Yadudu explained that a lot of fundings were needed to upgrade some of the aviation facilities including the bird strikes control equipment

Wole Shadare