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Stakeholders to brainstorm on sunset airports, economic effects

By Wole Oyebade
02 May 2022   |   4:01 am
Aviation stakeholders have expressed displeasure over gross underutilisation of aerodrome facilities nationwide despite huge potential that abounds in the air transport sector.

PHOTO: BBC

Aviation stakeholders have expressed displeasure over gross underutilisation of aerodrome facilities nationwide despite huge potential that abounds in the air transport sector.

They said about 18 sunset (or daytime) airports dotting the landscape are counterproductive to efficient flight services that ideally operate round the clock.

Besides seeking a better use for most of the airports, about 250 travel and aviation stakeholders shall further brainstorm on the perennial challenge at the 26th yearly conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC).

The speakers are drawn from airlines, government agencies, travel agents, air travel passengers and others who would discuss in-depth the economic and safety implications surrounding sunset airports in the country.

Indeed, of about 22 airports nationwide, only the four international airports currently operate a 24-hour schedule.

Chairman, Conference Committee of LAAC, Chinedu Eze, said that the conference theme was informed by the multiple challenges that the operation of sunset airports in Nigeria have faced over the years.

Eze said while the airlines continued to claim billions of losses yearly due to the restriction, the avenue would be the right place for major players to discuss the burning issue objectively, while also proffering solutions for the benefit of all.

He said: “For many, aircraft should remain in the air, but a situation where most of the airports can only offer daylight operations and aircraft stay on the ground for most parts of the day, may not augur well, but, again, where are the passengers? Even in the U.S., not all airports operate 24 hours. These are all relevant angles to the issues.”

Secretary of the Committee, Albinus Chiedu, expressed optimism that like in the past, the conference slated for July 28, 2022, would usher in new development for the industry.

Chiedu noted that like the past year, the conference would be held physically and virtually, stressing that this would enable the participation of stakeholders worldwide.

According to him, key panelists, speakers and other participants have already confirmed their participation at this year’s event and assured that the communiqué reached at the conference would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for action.

LAAC is Nigeria’s sole aviation media umbrella body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring effective coverage and practice of the aviation industry.