Tom Okpe, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC), has noted that the existing revolution in the Aviation Sector are projects of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The APC think tank group also said just like in roads, rail, and ports, Nigeria’s Aviation industry is undergoing a revolution, in terms of unprecedented investments in infrastructure and capacity building, under the watch of President Buhari.
The group according to its leaders, Barr Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Moh. Lukman in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday stated that the present administration since May 2016, launched its Aviation Roadmap, with the aim of transforming the sector, in terms of safety, infrastructure and economic viability.
APC-LAC recognised major highlights of the Roadmap to include, establishment of National Carrier, Development of Agro-Allied/Cargo Terminals, Concessioning of major International Airports, Establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Center.
Also, establishment of Aviation Leasing Company, development of Aerotropolis (Airport Cities), establishment of Aerospace University, Designation of 4 International Airports as Special Economic Zones, Upgrade of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).
“Since the Aviation Roadmap was launched, the Ministry of Aviation has focused on implementation.
In terms of infrastructure, new Terminals of the Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano International Airports, inherited from the previous administration, have been completed, while the new Lagos Terminal is very close to completion.
“Brand new Runways have been constructed at the Abuja and Enugu International Airports, in 2017 and 2020, respectively,” the think tank group said.
It further explained that more airports around the country had Low Level Windshear Alert Systems (LLWAS) installed, to improve flight safety.
“Investigations revealed that the Sosoliso and ADC plane crashes of 2005 and 2006 respectively were caused by the absence of LLWAS in the airports.
“The Lagos and Abuja Airports have had the Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) installed, which provides the capability for landing safely and accurately in conditions of near-zero visibility, with another 3 Nigerian Airports being scheduled to benefit this year.
“The Concession process for the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airports, in the country is ongoing, with completion of the process scheduled for 2022.”
It said President Buhari approved that the backlog of entitlement of retrenched staff for almost twenty years be cleared, and has released funds to this effect.
“The NCAT now has a brand new Boeing 737 Full Flight Simulator, as well as a fully-automated Fire and Smoke Aircraft Training Simulator, which now means that Nigerian personnel no longer have to be sent to Cameroon for training on tackling aircraft fires and smoke.
“The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) now has a world-class Flight Safety Laboratory, which means that Airplane Recorders, popularly known as “Black Box”, no longer have to be sent abroad for analysis.
“The AIB is actively providing technical support and services to other African countries, including assisting Sierra Leone to set up its own Accident Investigation Agency, in 2021,” the think tank group added.