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Analysts Paint Grim Picture Of Aviation Industry

Posted by By Simon Ateba on 2008/09/23 | Views: 1413 |

Analysts Paint Grim Picture Of Aviation Industry


Aviation analysts, yesterday, under the aegis of Aviation Round Table, ART, painted a grim picture of the industry in the country and concluded that if nothing urgent is done, the sector might soon collapse.

Aviation analysts, yesterday, under the aegis of Aviation Round Table, ART, painted a grim picture of the industry in the country and concluded that if nothing urgent is done, the sector might soon collapse.

The analysts reasoned that with the high cost of jet fuel affecting airlines worldwide, ineffective communication on Nigerian airspace that could lead to plane crashes, the ‘blanket directive’ of the Minister of Aviation that aviation parastatals must relocate to Abuja in January next year, and the numerous unattended challenges in the sector, the future of the industry is not bright.

ART added that they were not surprised since “Aviation sector has not been given priority in the seven point agenda of Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces.”

Addressing journalists at the Murtala Muhammed airport, Ikeja, Lagos, ART president, Captain Dele Ore, wondered why after losing 13 generals in the Bebi-Airstrip in 2006 and three crew members of the beechcraft 1900D in March this year in plane crashes in the same area in Cross River State, the Federal Government has still not addressed the challenges of that mountainous environment.

He said in a prepared text read by Sam Akerele, ART Secretary General, that “the parastatals are not financially buoyant to move thousands of staff, spouse, and children to Abuja on such a short notice.”

He added: “the Federal Ministry of Aviation maintains Airstrip in Nigeria and must have permitted the Cross River State Government to operate the Airstrip without ensuring that necessary data on height or range of mountains adjacent to the airstrip.

“Nigeria lost 13 Generals in the same environment recently in circumstances that is related to bad weather, yet government and relevant agencies have not tackled the issues of safety landing aids, recording facility of communication between the pilot and operator of the Airstrip.”

The analysts scored the National Airspace Management Authority, NAMA, and the National Emergency Management Authority, NEMA, very low.

“We would like to re-emphasize our stand that Aeronautical Search and Rescue is ineffective, structurally deficient, poorly funded and lacking necessary infrastructure.”

They said that Search and Rescue in the country does not have trained personnel, rescue equipment, helicopters and medical personnel on short notice to save lives.

They explained that aircraft accidents become national emergency when “the relevant authorities are unable to cope with many deaths, logistics and funds.”

Dele Ore also wondered why after many years and millions of dollars invested in the completion of the total radar coverage for Nigeria, TRACON, the project is still crawling in 2008 with nothing to show for it.

He said that there is virtually no communication in the country’s airspace, adding that “our airspace is not safe. Any aircraft can enter our airspace without being monitored because there is no total radar coverage.”

He said the country has no modern radar systems, weather radars and most important total coverage of the nation’s airspace with VHF radios especially about 10, 000ft above sea level.

All these challenges coupled with the high cost of jet fuel, the issues of insurance and others are threatening to cripple the industry, they submitted.

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