Why most airports in Nigeria can only offer daylight operations–NCAA DG

From left: Mr. Olumide Ohunayo of Zenith Travels; Engr. Tayib Odunowo, representative of NCAA DG, Captain Musa Nuhu; Engr Akin Olateru, Commissioner/CEO, Accident Investigation Bureau; Mr. Matthew Pwajok, acting MD, NAMA and Mr. Ikechi Uko, Publisher, ATQ magazine at the 26th Conference of League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents held on Thursday in Lagos

 

Posted by Sade Williams

 

Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu has said that one of the many reasons some airports are restricted to sunrise – sunset flight operations in Nigeria is to eliminate or mitigate the safety implications and challenges of night operations.

Some of the challenges he itemised are Inadequate infrastructure; airports poor financial outlays; Security risks and threats; inadequate Airport and ANS Infrastructure; traffic level; airline capacity among others.

‘’Nigeria needs over 1.5 trillion Naira or 5 billion US Dollars to fix airport infrastructures gap in the country according to African Development Bank (2019) report.

‘’There are issues involving fire cover, primary and secondary power sources, provision of communication, navigation and surveillance aids, automatic weather stations and now-casting equipment among others.

He however said that the challenges can be addressed by developing Air Navigation Services (ANS); Airport infrastructure; develop Ancillary Infrastructure; Aerotropolis and others.

Presenting a paper at the 26th conference of League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents held at on Thursday in Lagos, with the theme: Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications, he said ‘provision of air navigation infrastructure including navigational and landing aids, conducive air traffic control tower, aeronautical meteorological equipment for accurate and timely meteorological information will help a great deal to allow night and all-weather conditions’ operations at the airports.

He was represented by Engr. Tayib Odunowo, Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS) at NCAA.

According to him, night operations solely depend on functional and appropriately calibrated landing aids, serviceable automatic weather stations , among others.

He noted that maintenance and service delivery at many airports in Nigeria are still seen as great disincentive to travelling and tourism, advising that a lot need to be done to make the airports as economic tools for Nigeria’s development.

”States should adopt marketing strategy to make their airports operationally and commercially viable by focusing not only on passengers flight operations but in areas like cargo segment, aircraft maintenance hangars etc to boost its boost commercial activities at the airport and revenues.

“It is very important to have good roads network and functional railway and urban light rail systems not only as a means to grow production but even for national integration.

“Adjacent states should adopt the idea of aerotropolis. Infrastructure, land use, and economy which are centered on or around an airport will likely get values from air connectivity, urbanisation and local accessibility.”, he said.

He also noted that an expansion in economic output and a strong economy is also a big factor contributing to possible 24-hour flight operations in Nigeria.

“No airport can be viable in a depressed economy with little or no production and low passenger traffic. A better business in aviation requires a systematic growth in economy, high production and services over a given time.”, he added.

 

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