Permanent in the ministry of aviation, Hajia Binta Bello has said that the face of aviation in Nigeria was taking a new look stating that the industry is growing and would get better as time goes by.
Hajia Binta Bello, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation
This is just as she said that federal government will continue to invest in training aviation personnel in a bid to continuously strenghten the industry.
Speaking at the opening of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, (LAAC) course at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Bello described as a “priority” the training and re-training of aviation personnel.
Bello who was represented at the event by the by the rector of NCAT, Capt. Adeyele Caulcrik said,” As an industry, we put great importance in the training and retraining of our personnel. The Aviation Ministry has made it a priority; closing the gaps of training needs is our core goal, in order to improve the human capacity and professional development of the sector.
“At the core of the roadmap for the industry, as you are all aware, is training and retraining of aviation personnel to acquire required skills and capacity to drive the goals of the industry.
“In line with this objective also, is the fundamental premium placed on the training of other allied personnel and stakeholders, whose jobs and activities are crucial to the overall development of the aviation sector in the country,” she said.
Thereafter, she said almost all the federal airports in the country had undergone a facelift through the remodeling.
The airports include the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano International Airport; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as well as Yola and Benin airports which she said had been remodeled to meet international standard.
Bello said Nigeria’s response to air crashes and incidents had improved remarkably with the robust deployment of modern technology and advanced equipment in air accident investigation.
She said the achievements were made possible by the various agencies in the ministry.
“The industry has seen unprecedented efforts by states governments to build state owned airports. Air travelers are having the best of their time in our airports.
Our appreciation for this effort goes to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN). The vigorous efforts of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have made our airspace one of the safest. The agency has deployed state- of-the-art navigational equipment in its effort to maintaining this safest status. The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has been leading efforts in ensuring a rapid response to air disaster and timely conclusion of crash investigations. The regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the watch dog of the industry, has just been recertified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its Category 1 status.
The permanent secretary also said NCAT for the past 50 years had made significant contributions to the development of manpower in the aviation sector in Nigeria and beyond.
She also said the college had continued to strengthen the capacity building in core areas such as introduction of Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL), helicopter training, Boeing 737 type training, training instructors course by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Train-Air Plus, as well as Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).
NCAT, which she described as the “foremost aviation training institute in the country” had trained for the aviation industry a wide range of professionals including pilots; air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance engineers, aeronautical telecommunication engineers among others.
She added that the college “has been consistently upgrading its equipment and capacity in defending its enviable status as the aviation institute of excellence.” On the training of aviation correspondents, she said the course “has been developed, amongst other things, to enhance the technical reporting skills of journalists who cover activities at our airports, and the aviation industry in general.”
“NCAT as the approved Aviation Training Institution of excellence in the country and the sub-region undertook the responsibility to develop a comprehensive training programme for our reporters in the aviation industry to improve their knowledge, and technical writing skills for better reportage of the activities in the industry to the public,” said Bello.
Also speaking, the chairman of the League, Mr. Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo noted that the role of NCAT in manpower development in the aviation industry. Iwelunmo said the liquidation of Nigeria Airways had continued to have negative impact on the college as almost all the staff of the defunct airline were trained by the institution.
“But it is our hope that with the inauguration of the committee on new national carrier by the permanent secretary and subsequent establishment of a new national carrier that NCAT will rise again. As the government sets to unveil the new national carrier, the League appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency ensure the payment of ex-Nigeria Airways staff, establish a national hangar to reduce the suffering of domestic airlines and complete all the on-going airport projects across the country,” said Iwelunmo.
He said the League would continue to collaborate with the various aviation agencies to ensure that airlines pay their debts noting that “debts owed by airlines and concessionaires have continued to sink aviation agencies.”
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