Mr. Abednego Galadima, President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), has assured that some of the projects of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigerian aviation industry would be absorbed by the succeeding government.
Galadima specifically mentioned the proposed national carrier project, Nigeria Air and the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities as some of the projects, which would be inherited by the succeeding government, saying the government was a continuum.
Apart from the two, Galadima further hoped that the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja would come on stream irrespective of the government in charge later in the year.
Galadima in a telephone interview with our correspondent said that though, the aviation industry globally struggled to recover fully from the Covid-19 pandemic, which crippled the world’s economy, but said the sector was better in Nigeria in the past year than 2021.
“I expect that the MRO will be solid and running. I expect the crisis around the national carrier to be resolved – let the airline fly. I also expect a very visible and concrete Abuja Airport second runway.
“Government is a continuum and aviation stakeholders will not burn it because an administration is winding down. We are there, we will continue to engage with whichever government that is in place. These are laudable projects and I think they are good for the industry.
“To allow the projects to go with the current administration, I don’t think it would be fair to the Nigerian system, knowing that quite a number of resources have been deployed in those regards.”
Galadima also lauded Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation for ensuring the repeal of the old Acts for the six agencies under the Ministry of Aviation, which he said made them in tandem with the current standards and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
For instance, all the six agencies in the ministry; the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) all had their old Acts repealed and replaced with the new ones.
AIB in the new Act 2022, changed its name to Nigerian Investigation Safety Bureau (NSIB) and had its scope of work expanded to the investigation of accidents and serious incidents in other modes of transportation, while NCAA was renamed Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
“I expect to see these new establishment Acts given teeth. By that I mean there should be stakeholders’ engagement with the new developments around that. I want to see it implemented, particularly in the multi-modal case and the establishment Acts. Those are my expectations.