Sunday, 27 April 2014

NCAA Approves Security Programmes For 22 Airports. Audits 18 Foreign Airlines

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCCA), has approved Security Programmes for 22 Airports in Nigeria in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation Part 17 requirements and the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP). A statement by the general manager public affairs NCAA, Fan Ndubuoke, said the Airport Security Programme (ASP) was reviewed intermittently and subject to International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO’s) amendment of Annex 17 in response to the global threat to civil aviation. According to Ndubuoke, In addition, Security Programme was similarly reviewed taking cognizance of the prevailing local threats and this will lead to further examination of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) or security directives to the industry. The statement reads .”Suffice it to inform, that Security Programmes are written by Airports and Aircraft Operators, Caterers, Ground Handling companies and other stakeholders. Thereafter, this is submitted to the regulatory authority, NCAA, which is the appropriate authority responsible for aviation security in the country”. He explained that Aviation Security Programme (ASP) provide measures and procedures on safeguarding the airport, aircraft, crew and properties against acts of unlawful interference. “NCAA provides guidelines for the development of the Airport Security Programme (ASP) which is a requirement of ICAO Annex 17 standard 3.2.1 states that each contracting state shall require an airport serving civil aviation to establish, implement and maintain a written airport security programme appropriate to meet the requirements of NCASP”. Meanwhile, wholesale security audit has been conducted on 18 foreuign and local airlines operating in the country. The audit was based on emerging threats, previous findings and incidents to forestall reoccurrences. It can be annual or bi – annual. The NCAA said all holders of an Approved Security Programme (ASP) were periodically audited to ascertain the level of compliance of airlines adding that It was carried out with the guidelines from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation part 17. Other parameters were the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), security directives and other benchmarks. The authority stated that at the conclusion of the audit, all airlines were mandated to submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) outlining measures that will be taken within a specific time frame to address the findings. To ensure all operators and stakeholders are in tune with adequate security measures, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),Aviation Security Unit of the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airport Standards[DAAS] conducts aviation security awareness training for them on regular basis.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Virgin Austria plane forced to land in Bali

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

A Virgin Australia plane (pictured above after it landed in Bali) was forced to land on the island of  Bali over fears of a possible hijack. Initially reports said the plane, which was flying from Australia and carrying 150 passengers, was being hijacked, but it was later found to be an aggressive drunk passenger who was trying to force his way into the cockpit. The pilot sent a distress signal to airport authorities and the plane was cleared to land in Bali so the situation could be dealt with. BBC reports that immediately the plane landed, the drunk passenger, who had been overpowered by the crew and handcuffed him, was arrested at the airport.Virgin Australia told ABC News that there has been a medical emergency aboard the plane but everything had been settled though the aircraft still remains on the tarmac at Bali’s Denpasar airport.G

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

Virgin Australia plane forced to land in Bali over fears of a hijack

A Virgin Australia plane (pictured above after it landed in Bali) was forced to land on the island of  Bali over fears of a possible hijack. Initially reports said the plane, which was flying from Australia and carrying 150 passengers, was being hijacked, but it was later found to be an aggressive drunk passenger who was trying to force his way into the cockpit. The pilot sent a distress signal to airport authorities and the plane was cleared to land in Bali so the situation could be dealt with. BBC reports that immediately the plane landed, the drunk passenger, who had been overpowered by the crew and handcuffed him, was arrested at the airport.Virgin Australia told ABC News that there has been a medical emergency aboard the plane but everything had been settled though the aircraft still remains on the tarmac at Bali’s Denpasar airport.G

Delta flight attendants to switch to phablet for in-flight customer service

Delta Air Lines this fall will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which will serve as their on-board manual and in-flight sales device as well as a platform for future, more personalized in-flight customer service.The Lumia 1520 features a larger format, 6-inch screen and will replace the smaller Lumia 820 already in the hands of Delta on-board professionals. "Delta continues to invest in the latest tools and resources for our flight attendants to provide exceptional service to our 165 million annual customers," said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service. "These state-of-the-art devices represent yet another example of the many technology innovations we're developing, and will be essential as Delta continues to further personalize the on board experience." Providing electronic access to the more than 500 page, five pound On-Board Manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs while providing on board professionals a more intuitive way to access essential information. In addition to its functionality as an in-flight sales device and replacement for the on-board manual, the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, running Windows Phone 8.1, will, as it develops, enable flight attendants to take customer meal orders, receive detailed information about their flight and provide information for personalized service, including customers' frequent flyer status and potential need for special services during flight."The phablet is a great foundation for future software applications that, in time, will allow our flight attendants to readily access customer preferences, previous travel experiences with Delta and worldwide connectivity to the company, enabling them to provide the more tailored experience many customers have come to expect," said Theresa Wise,

Dana Air emerges domestic airline operator of 2013

Dana Air, has added yet another feather to its cap as the airline has been adjudged as the “Domestic Airline Operator of the Year 2013” by the Transport & Logistics Nigeria Limited, organizers of the Transport Stakeholders’ Excellence Awards. Dana Airline emerged after a thorough rigorous screening by a team of assessors and the result was subsequently confirmed by a public opinion survey.

The transport and logistics award is an initiative designed to reward, celebrate, encourage, and project transport stakeholders who have contributed significantly towards the advancement and development of logistics and transport in all ramifications.

Dana Air was presented with the coveted plaque at the Awards ceremony which held at the Lagos Sheraton Hotels & Towers and was attended by numerous high profile guests including Honorable Kayode Opeifa, the Lagos state commissioner for transport as special guest of honor as well as representatives of the Osun State Governor and the permanent secretary federal ministry of transport.

Commenting on the award, the Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr. Yvan Drewinsky said: “It’s gratifying that the airline has continued to attract positive attention and has again been voted as the airline of the year by stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector. More importantly, Dana Air takes this award as a vote of confidence from our discerning customers and we want to re-assure them that we will intensify our efforts at building a world class airline in Nigeria”.

Mr. Drewinsky noted that the vision of Dana Air is to become Nigeria’s most reliable and customer-friendly airline, and also stated that the airline will not rest on its oars but rather strive to continually look at new and exciting ways of exceeding the aspirations of its guests.

Speaking in same vein, the chairman of the awards organizing committee, Engineer Emeka Ogwara said that Dana Air merits the award as it has shown commitment to very rigorous certification tests which ascertains the premium that the airline places on safety of the flying public in general and its passengers in particular. Mr. Ogwara further stated that Dana Air was able to recommence air services in record time after the successful conduct of its operational audit

Arik air to extends flight to India

Arik Air explores opportunities for direct flights to India, as High Commissioner inspects airline facility

Arik Air, Nigeria and West Africa’s largest carrier, has begun exploring the possibility of introducing a direct service to India, following a recent visit from the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ajjampur Rangalah Ghanashyam to the airline’s headquarters in Lagos.

The High Commissioner was at the Arik Air Aviation Centre to explore opportunities on how to facilitate direct flights between Nigeria and India. Presently, there are no direct flights between the two countries, with travelers currently forced to board connecting flights through Addis Ababa, South Africa or Dubai.

According to the High Commissioner, direct flights between Nigeria and India would boost business, tourism, save passengers flight time and reduce the stress of the journey. “Direct flights are also important during medical emergencies, because direct movement of patients during emergencies would save a lot of lives.”

Speaking after inspecting the facilities at Arik Air headquarters, Ghanashyam said he was impressed with the profile of the airline, which appears to him a professionally run carrier. He stressed Arik Air’s fleet size, route network and staff strength meant it was an airline that would serve as a strong partner in providing direct flights between India and Nigeria.

He explained: “With over 120 daily flights, 26 aircraft and over 2000 direct employees, Arik Air qualifies as a serious player for any Indian airline to partner with in order to facilitate seamless flights between the two countries.

“This visit to Arik Air is the first stage in building an initial bridge of understanding. The airlines will decide the potential and viability of a partnership. I am confident that Arik Air has done well, given the facilities I have seen,” Ghanashyam concluded.

The High Commissioner was received on the visit by the Chairman of Arik Air, Sir J.I.A. Arumemi-Ikhide, President/Group Chief Executive, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

AIC locked down Diplomatic Park at MMA-Dati

AIC locked down Diplomatic Park at MMA-Yakubu Dati

Aviation group spokesman, Yakubu Dati today reported that the promoters of AIC Ltd, Chief Harry Akande have again taken the law into their hands by locking down the Diplomatic Car Park of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos today, Wednesday, April 9 2014.

In a press statement signed by Dati, he claimed that Akande, who came in a convoy of cars with several men to personally take possession of the land in dispute between his company and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, arrived at about mid-day. Dati said Akande used his personal car to block the entrance to the car park which led to a traffic gridlock at the entrance of the Arrival Hall of the airport for a long period.

"It took the intervention of Aviation Security officials to bring the ugly situation under control. Meanwhile, the thugs Chief Akande brought along were still loitering inside the park, as at the time of this report thereby constituting a security risk at the airport. They also parked a bus loaded with barbed wire within the premises of the disputed land.

"Promoters of Chief Akande had on April 7 sent an sms to some journalists inviting them to cover the take-over of the disputed land, stating that “our Chairman, Chief (Dr) Harry Akande intends to physically reclaim our land on Wednesday, 9 th April @ 9am. We will appreciate your presence to record the event…”

"This is not the first time Chief Harry Akande of AIC Ltd and his men have tried to take the law into their own hands over the disputed land, using unsubstantiated court orders as excuse.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, as a responsible entity, will continue to protect the interest of the Nigerian people within the ambits of the law, no matter the level of provocation, Dati argued.

SAHCOL ELEVATES BASIL AGBOARUMI TO GENERAL MANAGER, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONSr



By ZAINAB JUNAID
Mr. Agboarumi Basil Udukhokhe has been elevated to the position of General Manager, Corporate Communications of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), as part of the company ongoing restructuring. Basil made this known in a press statement yesterday.

He said until his recent appointment, he was the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications. Agboarumi, who holds a National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, and a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, started his career as a student at Auchi Polytechnic where he doubled as the Editor-in-Chief of the “Think-Right Magazine,” and the “Auchi Express,” the Official Newspaper of the institution.

His experience took another turn during his National Youth Service with the Kanji Lake National Parks, New-Bussa, Niger State in 1997, he authored a book titled; “Borgu: Past, Present and Future,” which chronicled the potentials of the Borgu tribe, in Niger State, Nigeria. His flair for writing was further given a boost when in 1999 he was mandated by the Nigerian National Parks Headquarters, Abuja to compile a book on the “Attributes and Potentials of the National Parks in Nigeria.” Basil then joined the aviation industry with Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) in 2000, then a subsidiary of Nigeria Airways Limited, as the Pioneer Staff/Head of the Public Affairs Unit. Following the subsequent privatization and takeover of the company by the SIFAX Group in 2009, however, he was later appointed as Head of Corporate Communications, with a mandate to spearhead the re-branding of the new company having the same acronym but now known as Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), a member of the SIFAX Group. Mr. Agboarumi has a Masters in Communications Studies (Mcs) from the Lagos State University, and a Certificate in Creative Design & Digital Communication from the School of Media & Communications of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR) and an Associate Member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (arpa).  An Aluminous of the School of Media and Communications of the Pan-Atlantic University, as well as a member of the Course 13 of the School of Media & Communications Strategies for Optimizing Corporate Communication Skills (SOCCS), he has attended various trainings, seminars and conferences in Nigeria, across Africa, Europe as well as Asia.  An astute professional, B
asil is result-oriented, a team player, motivator, and possesses an excellent people’s skill. He also has a successful track record in Leadership, Public Relations and Communications which has contributed in no small way to affording him this recent appointment. SAHCOL is an Aviation Ground Handling Company (100 percent owned by the SIFAX Group), which has brought its experience to bear in the day to day performance of its duties, which includes Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling/Warehousing, Aviation Security, Baggage Reconciliation, Crew Bus and Executive Lounge Services, and other related Ground Handling Services; ensuring that Ground Handling Services to all clientele is executed in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, in line with international best practices, while also ensuring that the right tools are deployed. SAHCOL became a subsidiary company of the Sifax Group in December 2009, after its successful privatization by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Within this period, SAHCOL has invested in personnel development, purchase of modern equipment, infrastructural development and good customer services, which has helped in repositioning the company to meet the expectations and needs of its growing list of clientele.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

New international airport in Enugu is viable- Ortom

The Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom has assured Nigerians that the new international terminal being constructed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be commercially viable when it becomes operational. Dr. Ortom gave this assurance yesterday April 7, 2014 when he was responding to questions by journalists during his inspection tour of new projects at the airport. He said sufficient economic survey was made before the project was initiated by the Federal Government apart from the fact that Nigerians from the South East geo-political zone of the country, who are well known for their business enterprise would be of capable of generating sufficient passenger and cargo traffic on that international route.The Supervising Minister undertook an inspection tour of the airport to assess the stages of completion of some major projects there, including a General Aviation Terminal, Pilots Lounge, Pilgrims Terminal and the new International Terminal, one of the five being constructed in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Enugu, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda in the Aviation Industry.Dr. Ortom who expressed satisfaction with the rate of work on the projects will also visit other airports in the country, in continuation of the inspection tour of airport projects. He was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Jamila Shuára, Directors in the Ministry and heads of parastatals under the Ministry.It will be recalled that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu officially commenced international flight operations late last year with Ethiopian Airlines, the first from the South East geo-political zone since the county’s independence.

Overland aircraft makes air return due to cracked windshield – NAMA Pr


There were 48 persons onboard the aircraft that had the cracked windshield.A domestic flight 1170, operated by Overland Airline with ATR-42 aircraft enroute Abuja from Ibadan, diverted to Lagos on Sunday following a reported cracked windshield.This is contained in a statement signed by the General Manager and Public Relations Officer of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Supo Atobatele, on Monday in Abuja.The statement said that the pilot, while airborne, noticed some cracks on the windshield and subsequently requested to divert the aircraft to Lagos to allow for change of plane for the passengers.“Forty two passengers and six crew members were onboard the aircraft as at the time of the incident.“There is no cause for alarm as the diversion was precautionary and this conforms with the basic safety norms of the industry,” the statement said.

Orosanye Report: Nigeria scraps NAPEP, FRC, merges aviation agencies

The government also rejected the merger of the EFCC and ICPC.The Federal Government has accepted the recommendation for the scrapping the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC.This is contained in a Government White Paper on the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies in Abuja on Monday.The committee headed by the former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Orosanye, had in its report submitted on April 16, 2012, recommended the reduction of federal statutory agencies from 263 to 161.The Federal Government accepted the scrapping of FRC and directed the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate necessary action for the abolition.The White Paper directed the merger of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency into a body called Federal Civil Aviation Authority.It said their respective enabling laws should be amended accordingly to reflect the merger. It directed that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC, should perform the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and their enabling law repealed.It stated that the enabling laws of RMFAC be amended to accommodate the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, with the latter to also be scrapped.The Federal Government also accepted that the enabling law of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology be amended and the college restructured,It accepted the stoppage of the practise of certain categories of retirees opting out of contributory pension scheme and directed that only the military may withdraw from the scheme.The Federal Government accepted the stoppage of the bill for the establishment of NEPAD as an agency of government, contending that there were already laws relating to activities of NEPAD.The Federal Government accepted the abolition and repealing of the enabling law of the Utilities Charges Commission and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should initiate the process.It further accepted that the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation be fully commercialised and the passed bill on the Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service should not be assented to by the president.It accepted that the Veterinary Research Council of Nigeria should as a professional body be self-funding and that further budgetary allocation of the council should cease.The white paper accepted the partial commercialisation of NIPOST and the sell off its major shares in NIGCOMSAT as well as retention of minority shares in the agency.It directed that the functions of NIGCOMSAT that relates to space development be reverted to the National Space Development Agency.The Federal Government accepted that JAMB should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into Nigerian universities.It directed that JAMB must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions into Nigerian universities must pass through JAMB including direct entries.The white paper accepted the merger of the function of the Nigerian institute for Education Planners and Administrators with those of the National Teachers Institute.It however rejected the merger of WAEC with NECO and NABTEB.The Federal Government further accepted that the Nigerian Film Corporation be commercialised from 2013 fiscal year but with government seed funding.It accepted that all offices of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies outside Lagos and Abuja be closed to ensure judicious use of available resources in line with government policy.The Federal Government accepted the merger of National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe and the National Theatre into one agency called National Council of Arts and Culture.It accepted that the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council ceases to be funded by government from 2015 and that the Industrial Training Fund be self-funding from 2014.It accepted that the allegation made by the National Boundaries Commission against the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation over the funding of two non-existent boundary demarcation be investigated.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Global aviation industry records 210 fatalities in 2013 –IATA/ Commercial aviation in 2013 recorded 210 fatalities in the global aviation industry. Also, IATA said Africa has seen significant progress in safety as the continent’s African airlines experienced only one Westernbuilt jet hull loss in 2013. The International Air Transport Association, IATA, released the statistics in Montreal. The number of fatalities involving commercial aviation

Commercial aviation in 2013 recorded 210 fatalities in the global aviation industry. Also, IATA said Africa has seen significant progress in safety as the continent’s African airlines experienced only one Westernbuilt jet hull loss in 2013. The International Air Transport Association, IATA, released the statistics in Montreal. The number of fatalities involving commercial aviation in 20 13 was, IATA said was a far cry from 2012, which recorded 414 fatalities. IATA stated that the 2013 global Western-built jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jets) was 0.41, the equivalent of one accident for every 2.4 million flights. This was a step back from 2012 when the global Western-built jet accident rate stood at 0.21 (2), which was the lowest in aviation history. A looked at over the five-year period (2009-2013), IATA stated 2013 showed a 14.6 per cent improvement on the five-year average of 0.48. The 2013 Western-built jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.30, which outperformed the global average by 26.8 per cent and which showed an improvement over the five-year average of 0.32. “Safety is our highest priority. The aviation industry is united in its commitment to ensure continuous safety improvement. Importantly, that commitment has made flying ever safer. Accidents, however rare, do happen. “We release this data as the world continues to focus on the search effort for MH370. The airline industry, its stakeholders and regulators are in the beginning of the journey to unravel this mystery, understand the cause and find ways to ensure that it never happens again,” said IATA Director- General, Tony Tyler. IATA stated that it would release its 50th annual Safety Report on 3 April including complete data and analysis of the 2013 safety performance. IATA noted that over the five years 2009-2013, the industry has shown improvement in both accident rates and fatalities, although year-to-year comparisons may fluctuate. According to IATA, more than three billion people flew safely on 36.4million flights ,29.5 million by jet, 6.9 million by turboprop.

NAMA reiterates readiness for FAA CAT- One re-assessment

By ZAINAB JUNAID

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, has reiterated its readiness to ensure the successful United States of America, USA, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Category One Audit currently going on in the country. The airspace manager said it has put in place all the necessary logistics for the US FAA Category one re- assessment of the Nigerian aviation industry. Spokesperson for the agency, Mr. Supo Atobatele in a statement on Tuesday stated that NAMA had before now identified every open items that needed to be closed as part of its safety measures in the provision of air navigation services. Atobatele said that the agency would use the ongoing reassessment to ascertain its status as one of the leading air navigation service providers in the world. He emphasised that its Managing Director, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam assured that the agency’s huge investment in new technologies and technical competence of personnel would “definitely contribute to the expected sustenance of FAA CAT-1 status for the country.” It would be recalled that FAA on Monday commenced the recertification exercise of the entire Nigerian aviation industry.

The four-man delegate had arrived the country over the weekend and commenced work immediately. The team is expected to audit the sole carrier flying to US from Nigeria, Arik Air. The exercise is expected to be concluded on Friday. The Ag. Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Engr. Benedict Adeyileka had told journalists earlier in the week that it had engaged the services of advisors from the US to ensure the success of the programme.

Adeyileka affirmed that the advisors were in the country to advise the agency on the items needed to be closed and how it could ensure success of the whole exercise.