The Chairman of African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), Mr. Nick Fadugba has urged the Federal Government to consider the review of Nigeria’s bilateral air service agreements (BASAs) with foreign countries.
He said the current multiple entry points enjoyed by foreign airlines “is commercially disadvantageous” to the country. The industry expert, who gave the charge while speaking at the concluding series of Aelex Aviation webinar, also suggested series of practical solutions to grow the nation’s aviation industry. Fadugba, who is the CEO of African Aviation Services, specifically identified four key areas requiring revised regulatory frameworks.
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According to Fadugba, the current pandemic provides an opportunity to develop a new Aviation Blueprint to enable the country fulfill its aviation potential, if properly implemented. He recommended that government should introduce a more enabling regulatory environment for the aviation industry. This is even as he maintained that a review of BASAs had become imperative to curb the trend of multiple destinations granted foreign airlines as this is “disadvantageous to Nigerian airlines and do not achieve fair reciprocity.”
Other areas he listed as requiring modifications were a reduction or elimination of multiple taxes and duties on Nigerian aircraft operators, stricter economic oversight of the airline industry, revision of business plans by indigenous airlines; raising of more funds to strengthen their balance sheets; and seeking professional advice in aircraft acquisitions, among others.
On infrastructure, Fadugba recommended the construction of a new purpose-built airport terminal in Lagos to enable efficient hub and spoke operations seamlessly connecting international and domestic air travel. He said the proposed building of a second runway in Abuja provides a unique opportunity to establish a free port zone aerotropolis to develop aviation-related businesses.