NIGERIA Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed that the inherent challenges bedeviling the industry is one that they will continue to work on to find lasting solutions and aid it to strengthen and move the sub-sector forward.The NCAA Director General, Captain Muhtar Usman made this known Monday at a media parley identifying the industry’s key challenges as the economic recession currently slowing down activities, paucity of foreign exchange, inability of foreign airlines to repatriate their funds and Jet A1 scarcity.
According to him, together and individually these challenges have led to reductions of flights by airlines and sometimes outright route withdrawal, flight cancellations and a host of other challenges.
He lamented that the Consumer Protection Department of the CAA received a lower number of passenger complaints on foreign airlines in 2016 than it did in 2015 but the situation on the domestic scene was reversed as 2016 had more complains than 2015 but said the CAA is working to get it right as well as dissuade belligerent passengers.
He said,” We received 7,281 complaints from passengers on foreign airlines in 2015, 4,343 were processed and resolved in 2016,total of 2,236 were received and 1,792 were resolved (foreign airlines. The number of complaints from domestic airlines 2015 were 47, 33 resolved. In 2016, a total of 71 complaints were received 51 were resolved. Showing a sharp decline in the complaints from foreign carriers in 2016”
Meanwhile, Captain Usman said that airlines, both foreign and domestic in 2016, sold tickets worth over N330 billion between January and October 2016, stating that between January and December 2015, both foreign airlines and domestic airlines sold tickets worth over N385 billion in 2015 adding that in 2016, 42,000 passenger traffic were recorded daily while 597 flights daily were recorded.
According to the statistics reeled out by the DG, in 2015, 42,000 passenger traffic was recorded daily while the Authority 700 flights were recorded daily.
He however added that last quarter 2016 data is being collated and authenticated.
Usman, who revealed that there are several new applicants for Air Operators Certificate (AOC), said the Authority is already processing ‘18 firm applications adding that ‘9 are at the level of intent’.
He said that passengers comfort is paramount in plans of the Authority adding that it plans to dissuade belligerent passengers on approaches to issues while it will above all, there has been and will be sustained Safety oversight and surveillance.
On achievements of the NCAA, he said they include reviewing and amending the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARS) which officially took effect from July, 2016, accreditation of the only helicopter flying school in the sub region to offer air transport pilot license and certification of aviation security screeners at the nation’s airports.
Others include issuing of guidelines to owners and users of remotely piloted aircraft/drones to curb prevalent collisions with aircraft in the airspace; attainment of level three in state safety programme implementation process, adding that Nigeria is now in the same level with USA, U.K etc, in safety rating.
He revealed at NCAA, all staff were trained in line with ICAO SARPs, including local and foreign training, adding that the Authority domesticated some foreign mandatory training, deploying huge resources.
“NCAA has world-class professionals in sufficient numbers, the industry is replete with astute professionals including active licensed pilots totaling 2,226; active licensed aircraft maintenance engineers totaling 1,532; active licensed flight dispatchers totaling 543 and active licensed air traffic controllers totaling 313; active licensed cabin crew 1,888; there are 254 licensed air traffic safety electronic personnel license and 100 aeronautical station operator’s personnel”, he said.