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New handling rates: Aviation Co’ttee stalls meeting, to confer with NCAA privately

HOUSE of Representatives have stalled findings and resolution surrounding the impasse on the safety threshold handling rates for indigenous and international carriers and the way forward after it said it would have a closed door meeting with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, at a meeting today in Abuja however, did not give a new date for continuation of hearing on the matter, but assured that the committee would reconvene soon and would continue to protect the interest of Nigeria and business entities operating in the country.

The House of Representatives on August 30, 2021, appealed to the NCAA that the new aircraft ground handling rate of $3900 be put on hold till after the next meeting(today October 6th) with the stakeholders scheduled for all parties to come to agreement.

However, with the attendance of Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN), Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Airline Operators Committee (AOC), International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and NCAA all armed with their position papers the meeting still did not hold and no resoltion found while the committee asked to meet the DG privately.

Hon. Nnolim said:”The meeting with the Director-General of NCAA is important because we believe his input is necessary for us to take a decision. The issue at hand is very important for the growth of the Nigerian civil aviation industry.

”Whatever we are going to come out with as a committee will be for the good of the industry.”

Recall, AON and AOC had earlier petitioned the committee for its intervention over the new rate.

In September 2021, the NCAA approved a new charge rate which was last amended in 1986 to commence from October 1, 2021 (international carriers) and January 1, 2022 for domestic operators.

NCAA, according to information received, has now approved between $1,500 and $5,000 (passenger and cargo flights) for handlers for a narrow and wide body aircraft, respectively, while for domestic operators will now pay between N20,000 and N70,000, depending on the aircraft type.

Narrow body aircraft include Boeing B737, Airbus A320, ER 135 and ATR, while wide body aircraft are B767, A330, B777, B747 and B787.

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