Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dana Air Commences Daily Operations to Owerri July 11

Dana Air Commences Daily Operations to Owerri July 11

ZAINAB JUNAID ELESHO
…Launches ‘Make A Wish’ Promo On Social Media
Nigeria’s first new world carrier, Dana Air, has said that it will resume scheduled operations from Lagos to the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri, from July 11, 2016.
The addition of Owerri brings the current route network coverage of the airline to five destinations, which includes Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Owerri.
Speaking on the development, Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo said, ‘’We are greatly delighted to extend our operations to Owerri. Owerri is fast becoming a hub in Nigeria, and we feel very proud to once again extend our award winning service to the good people of Owerri, as we look forward to expanding our operations even further.’’
Obi while assuring business and leisure travelers of pocket-friendly fares, said, “from the 11th of July 2016, we will operate one daily flight from Lagos to Owerri at 7.02am with a return flight at 9am. Commenting further, Obi said the weekend schedule will be slightly different with a flight at 4.02pm and a return at 5.40pm.”
Meanwhile, the airline has launched a promo for members of its frequent flyer programme on social media.
The promo tagged, ‘Make a wish,’ strictly on twitter; entails guests to make any wish ranging from free tickets, extra baggage allowance, discounts, access to lounge, free miles, and the wish will be granted by the airline.
Commenting on the promo, Mbanuzuo, said Dana Air’s vision is to be recognised and respected as Nigeria’s most reliable and customer-friendly airline, adding that the airline would achieve this by consistently demonstrating commitment to service and providing affordable regional air transport services that focus on innovation, quality and service excellence

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Exploiting The Economic Potential Of The Nigerian Aviation Industry  

Exploiting The Economic Potential Of The Nigerian Aviation Industry

The aviation industry is a catalyst for socio-economic development anywhere! It provides the fastest and safest means of transportation of persons and cargo within and between countries thereby promoting commerce and industry, two of the major determinants of the Gross Domestic Product.
Tourism, which today, constitutes the economic mainstay of such countries such as UAE and Ethiopian, is given impetus by air transportation. This perhaps, explains the prominence occupied by Emirates and Ethiopian airlines in the economies of these two countries. And you are tempted to ask, what can any economy do without aviation?
The administration of President Muhammed Buhari has shown, by its recent pronouncements and policies on the aviation industry, that it is ready to exploit the economic potentials of the industry, to stimulate growth in the country’s economy. In his presentation at the last interactive forum with aviation stakeholders in Abuja, the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, acknowledged that “aviation is pivotal to growth of key economic sectors, certainly not limited to travel and tourism, agricultural production and distribution, rural development, trade and commerce, manufacturing, oil and other non-oil sectors.”
He added that aviation “is that critical tool necessary for economic transformation of any nation. Indeed, the value chain creation by aviation is enormous”. Simply put, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is well aware of the economic potentials of the aviation industry, its present challenges and how to adequately tackle these challenges, with a mind to making the best of these potentials in the overall interest of the country.
According to Senator Sirika, “the present administration is focusing on issues that will rapidly develop the aviation sector within the shortest possible time”. He highlighted the challenges of the industry and government’s response to them. On global and national security threats from terrorism, he said that government had begun a comprehensive security threat and vulnerability assessment, development of a new security strategy in partnership with international security organisation and procurement of modern, state of the art equipment. These are in addition to the commencement of an airport certification programme and manpower capacity development.
Another major policy thrust of this administration is the concession of the four major international airports in Lagos, Port – Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, after infrastructure upgrade to address the recurring challenge of obsolete airport infrastructure and inadequate capacity. This administration is also poised to establish a national carrier in order to gain optimal benefits from BASA/MASA and minimise capital flight, among other things. The absence of a major Maintenance Repair and Overhaul(MRO) facility in West and Central Africa which is responsible for high cost of aircraft maintenance for Nigerian airlines has necessitated the setting up of a world class MRO facility that will attract clientele from other parts of the world. The MRO, when established will further be encouraged to start manufacturing aircraft parts.
The Federal Government will also facilitate the completion of agro-allied and cargo terminals at designated airports across the country. This move is expected to enhance the country’s foreign exchange earnings, apart from discouraging rural-urban migration and encouraging massive rural development. A major milestone of this administration in the industry is the establishment of an aviation university that would “specifically produce the needed workforce for better efficiency” and curb the absence of high level management staff and research capabilities in the aviation industry.
This Government also intends to establish an Aviation Leasing Company, the first of its type in the country, in order to address the challenges of limited access to capital, high debt profile, inadequate number of aircraft in the fleet of local airlines and high cost of leasing. Government also intends to establish an Aviation Development Bank to enable industry entrepreneurs get long term funding at reasonable interest rates, among other things. In that presentation, Senator Sirika also hinted that the Ministry of Transportation was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Finance to include local airlines in the priority list of foreign exchange allocation. He also promised that government would sustain the policy of granting duty waivers to local airlines for the importation of aircraft and aircraft spares which he said had “contributed immensely to the survival of (local) airlines.
These policies of the present administration, when fully implemented, have the potential of further unlocking the economic potentials of the country’s aviation industry, making it more “profitable, self-sustaining and beneficial to all stakeholders” according to the Minister.
A sign of what to expect in the industry in future is indicated in the achievements recorded by this administration in the last one year. The flagship of Nigerian airports, the Murtala Muhammed Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja passed a recent ICAO security audit with 96 per cent, apart from Nigeria passing the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit within this period, operation in the control tower at MAKIA, Kano was automated while bomb containment vessels were provided at the Kano and Port-Harcourt Airports, among other numerous achievements.
Yakubu Dati is General Manager, Public Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Singapore Academy, AFCAC Train Nigeria and 14 Other Countries Safety Inspectors In Lagos

Singapore Academy, AFCAC Train Nigeria and 14 Other Countries Safety Inspectors In Lagos

The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has trained 40 Safety Inspectors from Nigeria and 14 other African countries in Lagos.
An online statement signed by the General Manager, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye listed the countries that participated in the five-day Course to include: Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Niger Republic, Congo, Mali, Cote de Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Chad, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
The statement depicted that 40 participants from these countries were in attendance for this maiden edition, adding that Nigeria via the NCAA that played host to the pilot edition of Safety Oversight Inspectors Course (Aerodrome) had the largest number with 16 participants.
A breakdown according to Adurogboye showed that NCAA had 13, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had three and other 14 African countries completed the number of participants.
The training according to him has as its focus vital areas of Aerodrome Oversight functions some of which includes overview of the states’ Safety Oversight Obligations, Critical Elements of Safety System, Safety Management System(SMS), Airport Emergency Planning, Operational Services and Maintenance Practices, physical characteristics(runways, taxiways, clearways, stop ways and holding bays).
Others are, visual aids for navigation, indicators and signaling devices, markings, lights, signs and markers, Aerodrome operational service, equipment and installations, rescue and fire-fighting, training programme (review, records and documentation), training of apron drivers, runway incursion prevention, wildlife and foreign object damage management inter alia.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Director General, NCAA Capt. Muhtar Usman informed the Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) that the essence of the course was to enhance their safety oversight management capacity of aerodromes through a comprehensive system approach.
The DG also posited that this opportunity given to the African continent by delivering the course in Nigeria will enhance better understanding of roles and responsibilities of aerodrome inspectors.
He stated that it was expected that their knowledge of aerodrome certification and surveillance would impact on safety and security of airline operations in Africa.
On training and partnership, the NCAA boss stated that the agency had been a progressive partner with CAAS and AFCAC in different areas, specifically on Human Capital Development, adding that Inspectors of the authority have participated in several courses organised by these bodies and that the most recent was the Dangerous Goods training in Niger Republic.
Usman commended the management of CAAS and AFCAC for granting NCAA the honour and privilege of hosting the course, just as he expressed optimism that the partnership will continue for the mutual benefit of all parties.
The DG thanked the facilitators led by Peter Ray (Lead Instructor), Bernard Yap (Assistant Instructor, CAAS) and Johnnie Lim (Coordinator, CAAS) for success of the training and their expertise in the course delivery.
Other members of the team included the Director of Safety, AFAC, Papa Fall and Public Relations Officer, AFCAC Racky So Mbacky
He also appreciated the interpreters for a wonderful job in ensuring that language did not constitute any barrier to acquisition of knowledge.
The Aerodrome course hitherto offered in Singapore Civil Aviation Academy was taken to Diaspora for the very first time in its existence.
The first offshore location for the course away from Singapore was at the NCAA Conference Facility, Lagos, Nigeria.

US Deportees: 41 Nigerians Arrives Lagos Airport

(Breaking- US Deports 41 Nigerians,Arrives Lagos Airport

A total of 41 Nigerians,who  were today deported from the United States to Nigeria arrived the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA),Lagos.
A source told our reporter that the aircraft  that brought the deportees;Miami Ai International arrived the airport at about 1220 hrs.
He added that the 41 deportees were all males and that they were deported for various reasons.
The source stated that nine of the deportees were sent back to Nigeria for drug offence 26 for Police related offences while six were deported for immigration offences.
On hand to receive the deportees according to him were immigration officials from the Lagos Airport Command, the police and other security agencies at the airport.
The development is coming few days after 162 Nigerians voluntary returnees who were stranded in Libya were brought into the country by International Organisation for Migrants (IOM) in collaboration with Nigeria Embassy in Tripoli in a chartered flight.
Attempt to get the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Immigration Service, Mr Adebola Adetula proved abortive ,as he could not be reached.