The Aminu Kano international airport in Kano and the Kaduna airport, two of the major airports in the northern part of Nigeria account for only 6 percent of aircraft movement on the domestic scene in 20113, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
A breakdown of statistic released by the regulatory showed that Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt had the highest aircraft movement in the year under review with Kano recording 4 percent while its neighbour received 2 percent of the aircraft movement.
The figure showed that out of 62, 751 domestic aircraft movement in 2013, 49, 083 of the carriers’ movement were from the five major airports with Lagos taking the lion share of hosting 21, 955 amounting to 45%, Abuja received 18, 417 to clock 37% and Port Harcourt with 12%.
Director General of NCAA, Benedict Adeyileka said a similar trend was replicated in the passengers’ movement in the same year on the domestic scene with total passengers’ movement hitting 4.5 million.
Both airports in the north also recorded the lowest passengers’ movement as they only account for 4% between them. Of the total number of passengers enplaned, Kano has 3 while Kaduna managed a paltry 1 percent; Lagos contributed 43%, Abuja 39%, and Port Harcourt 14%.
Speaking on the challenges facing Nigerian airlines, Adeyileka said operation of ageing aircraft remains one of the industry challenges with 63 of the 89 (70%) of aircraft currently use for commercial flight operation having average years of between 17 and 36 years.
The figure showed four of the Boeing 727 series are 36 years old, another 9 Boeing 747-2/3/4 series clocking 26 years. A total of 5 Fokker F28MK0100, 6 ATR42/72 model and another set of 5 Boeing MD83 models of aircraft in 23 years bracket.
Another set of 32 Boeing 737CL series have all reached 21 years among the lot. Cat 1, ex minister commended for providing leadership The immediate past Supervising Minister of Aviation, Chief Samuel Ortom has been commended for providing the leeway for the Nigeria aviation sector to obtain the recertification of the United State Federal Aviation Administration Category 1 status.
Ortom held sway when a team of experts from the US visited Nigeria to carry out a review the country’s Cat 1 status. Acting Director General, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Benedict Adeyileka said Chief Samuel Ortom provided the leadership and support that cumulated into Nigeria’s retention of the Category one status.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) award countries that have complied with a rigorous safety audit of their aviation sector in terms of technical capacity, manpower capability and regulatory oversight the right to fly into continental United State.
The team looked into eight critical elements including primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.
The team also looked into technical guidance and tools, licensing and certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety concerns.
Nigeria was first awarded the Category One safety status in 2010, after it was confirmed that the country had met the international aviation safety assessment standards In March, 2014 the FAA visited Nigeria and had carried out an intensive safety assessment of the Nigerian aviation industry to ascertain if the status will be withdrawn or not.
The NCAA DG confirmed that Chief Samuel Ortom, who was the acting minister of aviation at the provided support and leadership which saw the National Assembly and the Presidency grant all the necessary funding and support in record time to beat the deadline set by the FAA.
“We recognized our deficiencies and we took our challenges to the then supervising minister for aviation, Chief Samuel Ortom” and he promptly acted on our concerns adding that the NCAA got the necessary support from Chief Ortom.
Adeyileka also used the opportunity to thank all other stakeholders in the aviation industry who worked tirelessly to ensure Nigeria retained the certificate.