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ART rallies agencies for ‘ease of doing business’ at airports


Chairman of the ART, Gbenga Olowo

• NAMA tasks managers on strict compliance

Aviation Round Table Initiative (ART) has rallied various agencies in the aviation sector behind the successful implementation of the Executive Order to enhance ease of doing business in and around the country’s airports.
ART, the think-tank group of the aviation industry, commended the Federal Government for the initiative that has dismantled the “dash table at our international airports which has improved passenger facilitation.” They, however, added that the holistic success of the initiative fully depend on various agencies in different spheres of influence at the airports.
In a related development, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has charged airspace managers across the airports to ensure strict and unhindered compliance to the implementation of the Executive Orders in their various domains. 

Specifically, Chairman of the ART, Gbenga Olowo. mentioned that agencies like Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), all have administrative specific roles to relevant stakeholders.
In his recommendations, Olowo said FAAN, NAMA and Trade Unions should desist from embarrassing the country with acts of barricading Check-in-Counters of airlines in order to collect outstanding payments.  
He said: “The agencies should develop efficient and effective ways of collecting dues, rates and remittances from operators in the industry rather than strong arm tactics that could lead to break down of law and order in the airport environment.”
Olowo added that the internal communication system among all agencies involved in the management of the Air Navigational Services should also be immediately overhauled for a modern technology driven with accurate and effective communication system to promote aviation safety. 
“The communication gap often exhibited between airline operators and Air Traffic Controllers has variously resulted in instances of Air and Ground Returns, abortion/cancelation of flights with attendant jeopardy to flight safety and financial losses to airline operators who are the raison d’etre.”
He further recommended that the agencies should diligently discharge their duties to operators in the industry by ensuring that Air Navigational Services and ground handling services both at the point of departure and destination are more efficient in order to prevent incidences of flight clearance/approval at departure and denial of landing rights at destination. 
“A strict enforcement of AIP and AIP bolstered by the imposition of appropriate sanctions for defaulting agency or persons could address this unwholesome operational safety lapse.
“The agencies, and who render services at a fee should also be insured; while also compensating for financial losses resulting from negligence and failure to discharge responsibilities to operators, clients or passengers. This is the hallmark of corporate governance and ease of doing business,” Olowo said.

The chairman assured the general public of ART’s preparedness to support all measures by government and its agencies in the promotion of flight safety and passenger convenience towards the revival of the Nigerian economy and the ease of doing business.
NAMA Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, a management meeting recently in Lagos said it behooved on all to make the order fully implemented.Akinkuotu said: “We must individually and collectively, in our operational and administrative procedures resolve to make the Executive Orders successful as it gives us the opportunity to correct our shortcomings, perfect the system and also set the template about what excellent service delivery should be.
“As my representatives on the field, Airspace Managers must ensure that staff under their different jurisdictions are conversant with the spirit and letters of the Executive Orders to ensure seamless implementation nationwide,” he said.
Akinkuotu was optimistic that acceleration of approvals and permit processes as contained in the Executive Orders would significantly increase revenue, attract investment and boost economic activities in the country.

He, however, noted that there would be no room for willful or deliberate negligence of established procedures as defaulters must be ready to face appropriate sanctions. 
While expressing gratitude to the managers for their collective effort at ensuring safety of air travel within their various domains, the NAMA boss called for synergy of operations among departments in the agency and even agencies within the sector. 
He added that: “it is only when there is unity of purpose, teamwork, harmony and co-operation at all levels that the agency can realize its cardinal vision.” Akinkuotu said.

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