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AGHAN rallies NCAA to reforms, standard rates

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Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu

Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN) has urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to reform the sub-sector and set up minimum safety and handling rates for operators.

President of AGHAN, Olaniyi Adigun, said the move was necessary to standardise ground handling operations and boost revenue earnings.

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Adigun, in a paper presented at the 25th conference of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), recently in Lagos, said ground handling was originally not designed for profit but merely to serve airline operations.

He said while the mindset survived in the creation Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, not earning profit had negatively affected the sub-sector after privatisation.

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He, however, said it was imperative for the industry regulator (NCAA) to put necessary regulations and policies in place, which would usher in new handling rates for the sub-sector.

He said AGHAN is willing to work with the NCAA to set up safety and security standards, establish minimum safety threshold handling rates within the sector, encourage an enabling environment to attract capital inflow into the sector through local and foreign investors and encourage healthy competition among the players without compromising safety, security and the economic interest of the nation.

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“Any rate below the established safety threshold has the tendency to jeopardise safety and security and loss of revenue to the Federal Government through the five per cent concessionary fees pay by the handling companies to the government.

“To achieve the aims enumerated above, it is our strong belief that if both the Federal Government through the NCAA, and the various stakeholders come together to put necessary regulations and policies including setting up of a minimum safety threshold handling rates in place, the ground handling sector will experience a rebirth.

“This will increase government revenue and create stability in terms of safety and security within the sector and the industry at large. This can effectively work out if the extant Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) Act is amended to further empower the NCAA to properly regulate the industry like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does to banks.”

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