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We’re Taking Steps to Regulate Use of Drones – DG NCAA

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA says, it is ready to support stakeholders in the use and growth of drones in the country and ensure safety and security is accorded priority.

The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu who stated this in his paper entitled “Drone Essence, Growth and Regulations in Nigeria”, at the ongoing Airport Business Summit in Lagos said, regulations were underway to create a level playing field for operators that would address security approvals and registration of drones, owners and operators.

Others are operational certification and approval, air worthiness approval, economic authorization, licensing of pilots and other personnel and privacy issues.

In many climes, the use of drone is very common.

With its vast use of goods delivery, filming, search and rescue operations amongst others, it could also be deployed to harm national security.

To this end, it has become expedient to regulate its use.

The Director General Nigeria, Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the regulatory agency had gone far in the drafting of the drone regulations in the country and currently in final draft stage.

Captain Nuhu represented by the Director, Airworthiness, Mr. Kayode Ajiboye said, the regulations have 20 parts, adding that their greatest challenge was on how to address matters of security and piracy.

He stressed that, drone use was a new area for them and the NCAA do not have the final say on this matter.
“Security issues, piracy issues these are areas we do not have the final say, we try to ensure that the appropriate organs of government assign the role that they need to play if we want to have a secured and safe operations”

Captain Nuhu also stressed that there was need to mitigate risks to national security and public safety posed by people who were not playing by the rules.

He assured that the current legal framework and collaboration with operators, stakeholders and Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA would provide a robust structure and system for drone operations and its structured growth in Nigeria.

The Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru said, the use of drones can help in detecting an aircraft black boxes in the event of an accident.

He disclosed that the Federal Government had acquired two Hi-Tech drones to facilitate accident investigation.

“We have gotten it, we need all the approvals and the licenses and once that is done, our plan is to have one drone par location”

Rector, Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, NCAT Zaria, Captain Modibbo Mahmud said, inclusion of drone studies would bring about future inventions and open up more opportunities in the sector.

“That will enable students to be equipped with practical knowledge to partake in future inventions and control”

Delegates also stated that the growth opportunities in the drone services and software segment were huge for Nigeria but great planning and development of the market were required.

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Aviation Ministry Secures N4.045billion for AIB to Acquire Office, Web Base Equipment

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Accident Investigation Bureau Lagos office already pulled down.

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, at this week’s meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a total sum of N4,045,197,340 billion for the Aviation Ministry to help acquire for the use of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, a highbrow property in Abuja, that will serve as office accommodation and a laboratory.

According to the statement by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, part of the approved sum would also be used for the procurement of specialized equipment to aid the AIB to perform its job with the use of 21st-century technology to be hosted in Canada.

The Information Minister announced that “the council approved a memo from the Honorable Minister of Aviation for the award of contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine, web-based reporting tools in favour of Messers Sinecon Limited in the total sum of N553, 575, 000, inclusive of 7.5% with a delivery period of 12 months”. This technology will aid the Accident Investigation Bureau to be able to establish and develop the advanced reports generation system”.

Senator Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister

Lai Mohammed explained that the web-based Advanced Reporting Generation Utility Engine, “has tremendous benefits to both authorities and recipients of the information. It will be hosted on a common database, which reduces the agency’s cost of production, and provides technical means for users to search across agencies of government to communicate findings of accident investigations in a modern web-based format, as opposed to the current traditional written format published on the web”.

Speaking further on the benefits according to the brief from the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, Information Minister said, “the web reporting tool will motivate investigators overtime to create more visual contents that will have an integrated option to develop 3D flight animation to communicate the history of flights that will be hosted on plane sciences services in Ottawa, Canada”.

The Information Minister also made public the second approved memo by FEC was the sum of N3,491,622,340 to enable the Ministry of Aviation to purchase a choice property at Plot 426, Cadastral Zone, opposite the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Lai Mohammed said of the decision that, “this property will enable the ministry to be in the same building with many of its agencies. As of now, many of the agencies operate from rented properties and this is a drain on the government apart from the fact that it does not allow for good coordination of activities”.

On the genuineness of the property, as regards its status with the Federal Capital Territory Administration nay its technical and physical fitness, the Information Minister affirmed that “necessary checks and legal searches have been made and the council approved the purchase.”

This measure may have put paid to the hues and cries about the erstwhile AIB Lagos office ignominiously pulled down by the government for its error in the construction of the second international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, without consideration for safe maneuvering of aircraft at the taxiway and the apron for parking.

(Nigeriantransporthub)

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Airline Operators Suspend Planned Withdrawal of Flights

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The body in two statements issued between Friday last week and today, hinged their decision on the high cost of aviation fuel popularly called Jet A1 at N700 per liter.

The decision to suspend the planned flight disruption according to the AON is government assurance to wade into the matter with a view to finding lasting solution.
“AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate (sic) pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government”.

Before the suspension over five airlines had renounced their participation in the planned disruption of flight operations tomorrow.

Reacting to AON’s suspension, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in a statement applauded the body for heeding government’s call.
He says, the Ministry has always made conscious efforts to assist members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), some of which includes facilitating a meeting between the Association and Mr. President, during which the Association got several concessions, including duty-free importation of aircraft, engines, spare parts and components.
“It should also be recalled that members of the Association were also considered for, and given Bail-out funds to the tune of N4 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that they remained afloat.  This was without prejudice to the fact that most of them were heavily indebted to Aviation agencies (as they still are)”.

The statement which was signed by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr James Odaudu added that, in the past efforts were made to ensure the operators get forex to cater to their operations from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN as well as on the vexed issue of aviation fuel.

“The Honourable Minister at various times personally took members of the Association to engage with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sort out issues of access to Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for their operations, and also the NNPC to exploit ways of ensuring the availability of Aviation fuel (JET A1) through importation or from the major Marketers”.

The Minister also assured foreign airlines operating in the country that all logistics and services for their operations remain in place as usual and that no disruptions whatsoever should be envisaged.
He added that, as a government, reiterated it commitment to the continued growth of the aviation industry where airlines and other service providers operate in a profitable and competitive environment.

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Flight Shutdown: We’ve Never Abandoned Airline Operators- Aviation Ministry

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…. Commends Some Airlines for Opting Out of Planned Action

In reaction to the insistence of the Airline Operators of Nigeria to carry out the threat to withdraw flight services from Monday, the Ministry of Aviation has explained that it has always acted to protect the interests of their members, even as it has clarified that the Association was not planning a strike against government.

The position of the Ministry was contained in a statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu released to newsmen Sunday evening.

Full text of the statement:

“From the time the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) issued notice of withdrawal of flight services as a result of rising cost of Jet A1 (Aviation fuel), and in spite of the initial statement by the Ministry detailing efforts to address the knotty issue while soliciting more understanding from AON, enquiries have continued to flood in with some under the erroneous impression that the planned withdrawal of flight services was directed against the government.

“We wish to state that the decision of the Association is purely a business one as they are private businesses reacting to market forces while appealing for government interventions to enable them carry on with their operations.

The Ministry has always made conscious efforts to assist and promote the operational interests of AON, some of which includes facilitating a meeting between the Association and Mr President, during which it got several concessions, including duty-free importation of aircraft, engines, spare parts and components.

“The Honourable Minister at various times personally took members of the Association to engage with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sort out issues of access to Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for their operations, and also the NNPC to explore ways of ensuring the availability of Aviation fuel (JET A1) through importation or from the major Marketers at affordable prices.

“It should also be recalled that members of the Association were also considered for, and given Bail-out funds to the tune of N4 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that they remained afloat. This was without prejudice to the fact that most of them were heavily indebted to Aviation agencies (as they still are).

We believe that members of the Association are patriots who have continued to bear the brunt of unfavourable global oil market dynamics for which we salute their doggedness.

“It is gratifying that members of the Association have started reviewing the decision to withdraw flight services from tomorrow, with Ibom Air, Green Africa Airlines, Arik, Dana and some others having given indications that they will carry on with their normal flight schedules. We hope and believe that a few hesitant members will consider the dire implications of the planned action for businesses and individuals and review their decision likewise.

We also wish to assure foreign airlines operating in the country that all the requisite logistics and services for their operations remain in place as usual and that no disruptions whatsoever should be envisaged.

“As a government we reiterate our commitment to the continued growth of the aviation industry where airlines and other service providers operate in a conducive, supportive and profitable business environment.

“We therefore, call on the members of AON to commit to undisrupted flight services nationwide while the Ministry of Aviation, with other relevant stakeholders, continue with ongoing efforts at finding a lasting solution to the perplexing issue of aviation fuel availability and affordability, in the overall interest of the industry and the economy at large” the statement concluded.

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