Posted by Sade Williams
No fewer than 250 travel and aviation stakeholders in Nigeria and the diaspora would participate at the 26th edition of the annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) slated for Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Lagos.
The speakers drawn from airlines, government agencies, travel agents, air travel passengers and others would discuss in-depth the economic and safety implications surrounding sunset airports in Nigeria.
The theme of the 2022 LAAC Annual Conference is: ‘Sunset Airports: Economic & Safety Implications.’
Mr. Chinedu Eze, the Chairman, Conference Committee, LAAC, in a statement said that the theme was informed by the multiple challenges that operation of sunset airports in Nigeria have faced over the years.
According to him, while the airlines continue to claim loss of billions of naira annually due to the restriction, some stakeholders, feel there is no need for most Nigerian airports to operate virtual and instrument flights.
Eze explained that the avenue would be the right place for major players to discuss the burning issue objectively, while also proffering solutions for the benefit of all.
He said: “Our past conferences have helped to shape the industry for the better. While we agree that that there are challenges in the sector, it is also the league’s belief that the challenges are not insurmountable.
“For many, aircraft should remain in the air, but a situation where most of the airports can only offer day light operations and aircraft stay on ground for most parts of the day, may not augur well, but, again, where are the passengers? Even in the US, not all their airports operate 24 hours.”
Also speaking, Mr. Albinus Chiedu, the Secretary, LAAC Conference Committee, expressed optimism that like in the past, the conference would usher in new development for the industry.
Chiedu explained further that like the past year, the conference would be held physically and virtually, stressing that this would enable participation of stakeholders from across the world.
According to him, key panelists, speakers and other participants have already confirmed their participation at this year’s event and assured that communiqué reached at the conference would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for action.
The 25th edition of LAAC’s conference was with the theme: ‘Nigeria Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation,’ and it was held at the same Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja on July 28, 2021.
All the aviation agencies and their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) participated fully in the conference.
Also, the entire major scheduled and charter operating airlines, Lagos State Government, Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation and many others actively took part in the event, which attracted over 500 participants virtually and physically.
Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, the CEO West Link Airline was the Chairman of the occasion, while Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation was the Guest Speaker.
LAAC is the sole Nigeria’s aviation media umbrella body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring effective coverage and practice of the aviation industry.
The LAAC Annual Conference has over the years, made an unquantifiable impact on the country’s aviation industry by throwing up policy, management and operational issues for public discuss.
This has resulted in tremendous and significant evidential changes in Nigeria’s aviation sector.
Aviation and allied business organisations have equally taken advantage of sponsorship opportunities presented by the event to sell their products and services.