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Reps reviews six aviation bills

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House of Representatives has begun a review of six aviation bills as part of efforts to reposition the industry for efficiency.

Speaking at the opening of a three-day public hearing, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the House was determined to support legislation that would place the aviation industry on the path of sustainable growth.

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The executive bills, bothering on the operations of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) will amend certain aspects of the civil aviation Acts.

Gbajabiamila described the public hearing as an important lawmaking process that affords the members of the public the opportunity to voice their views either for or against any proposed laws before the parliament.

He, however, urged the stakeholders to make meaningful submissions that would assist the parliament in coming up with amendments that would be in tandem with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) best practices.

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Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, noted that the Reps, in recognition of the importance of aviation to the national economy, had considered the Bills and referred them to his committee for further legislative actions.

Nnaji said: “The need for these enabling Acts to be repealed and subsequent reenactment of the new Acts are glaring, considering the urgent need to meet the contemporary demands and international standards for the general development of the aviation sector.

“It is pertinent to note that since the last review of these agencies’ Acts, significant changes and developments had taken place in the industry, which necessitated the review and amendment of these Acts so as to bring them up to date with the operational requirements and dictates of the industry.”

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, noted that the journey to the proposal for the amendments of the Acts, establishing the agencies under the Nigeria Civil Aviation, commenced following the result of findings in the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit programme (USOAP) in the year 2006 as well as findings from the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) category one/Certification Audit in the year 2010 that establishment Acts of some of the aviation service providers contained certain regulatory powers.

Sirika observed that the NCAA ought to be the only autonomous regulatory agency in Nigeria, adding that the anomaly necessitated the amendments to take a corrective action to address the audit findings.

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