…Abuja, Kano, others underway
By Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Monday, issued the first Aerodome certificate to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, saying it has satisfied all required in line with international standards and recommended practices.
Presenting the certificate with no. NCAA/ARD/AC/001 , to the Managing director of FAAN, Engr Sale Dunoma, Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, however tasked FAAN on the responsibility of sustaining the certification, saying the Authority others should not be accrued away in the euphoria.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, while still basking in the euphoria of the issuance of the first aerodrome certificate, we should not lose sight of the additional responsibilities that post certification bestows on the Regulatory Authority as well as the Certified Aerodrome Operator for sustenance of the certification achieved.
“Thus, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is required to immediately commence the implementation of a post certification surveillance plan for the continuous monitoring of airport services, facilities, procedures and manpower levels to ensure that the Acceptable Level of Safety is not infringed on.
Usman added that ‘NCAA in her Safety oversight responsibilities, would ensure compliance with ICAO and national regulations at all times, and where necessary, sanctions would be imposed or certificate suspended to enforce compliance with standards’.
He said FAAN has the utmost responsibility of operating the Murtala Muhammed Airport in accordance with ICAO standards and recommended practices, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, as well as any special conditions on which the certificate is issued.
He added that FAAN is also required to promptly notify the regulatory authority of any changes in aerodrome services, facilities, procedures or staffing levels that can affect the certification of the aerodrome.
“Likewise the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency is required by Para 2.13.1 of Amendment 35 to ICAO Annex 15, to publish in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) the certification status of all Nigerian aerodromes, showing: 1) aerodrome name and ICAO location indicator; 2) date and if applicable, validity of certification; 3) remarks, if any’.
While noting that ‘that certification is an enabler for the attainment of a regional hub which Nigeria desires for Lagos and Abuja, Usman itemized some of the benefits of the certification to include that Aerodrome certification provides the baseline for continued monitoring of compliance with the standard specifications.
He said the certification status of an aerodromes is published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).
Aerodrome certification, he said, facilitates the identification and closure of critical infrastructural gaps as well as enable states to enhance the competency level of safety critical manpower as required for safe operations.
It leads to implementation of airport collaborative decision making (ACDM) as required by ICAO ASBU and enhances aerodrome capacity. Aerodrome certification enhances the net-worth of an airport.
It also increases competitiveness and potentials for a regional hub apart from attracting external funding.
The DG added that the NCAA is committed to the certification of all Nigerian International airports in line with our Regulations, ICAO SARPs, as well as the AFI Regional Safety Targets.
“In furtherance of the above objective, the certification of Abuja airport is in the final stage, while strategic measures have been put in place by NCAA and FAAN to ensure the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kaduna international airports by July 2018.
He concluded that ‘the immense support of the Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika, that of the ICAO President, Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, the support of the Nigerian Representative on ICAO Council, as well as the support of the staff and management of the FAAN, NAMA, NCAA, adding that the patience and understanding of airlines and the travelling public during this period is commendable.
Also speaking, Director Aerodromes and Airspace Standards, Odunowo Mohammed Tayyib, said the certification of Murtala Muhammed Airport was conducted in 5 phases as prescribed in Part 12 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.
He said the aerodrome certification project remains the most impactful single initiative in aviation industry as it basically touches on all elements of safety oversight such as Aviation Legislation, Operating Regulations, Civil Aviation System, Personnel Training and Certification, Development of Guidance Materials and Safety Critical Information, as well as Surveillance and Resolution of Safety Concerns.
While also stressing the need for sustenance and funding, he said: the certification of aerodromes as well as the sustenance of such certification requires continuous funding. Therefore we wish to solicit for the cooperation and support of the management of NCAA and FAAN in not only sustaining the certification of Lagos, but also the certification of outstanding international airports’.