Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Muhtar Usman, has raised the hope of the country’s aviation industry meeting the projected 7.2 billion air passenger traffic by 2030.
Mr Usman spoke at a workshop on Global Air Navigation Plan organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, in Lagos on Monday.
He said Nigeria was well positioned to contribute to the expected surge in global air travel by 2030, which according to ICAO and the International Air Transport Association, IATA, projection will be about 7.2 billion.
Mr Usman, a captain, said : “We are all aware of the projection by both ICAO and IATA that global traffic volume which was 3.7 billion in 2016 is expected to double by 2030 (15 years seasonal growth).
“Thus it imperative that we urgently develop and implement short, medium and long term plans in line with the global and regional air navigation plans, in order to achieve demand and capacity balancing with an acceptable level of safety performance. ”
He hoped that Nigeria within the period would have increased its infrastructure and its regulations, stressing that with this plan, the country would not be left behind.
“In the spirit of ‘NO-Country-Left-Behind’ as being professed by our own President of ICAO, Olmuyiwa Aliu, this workshop has been put in place to ensure that we key into it that Nigeria is not left behind.
“In terms of regulation and infrastructure, we want to make sure that we are not left behind.”
In his contributions, Stephen Cremer, the Director of Air Navigation Bureau, ICAO, said through the seminar, ICAO would get to know the prospects and the challenges of Nigeria towards the global 2030 global air traffic projection.
Mr Cremer urged Nigeria take the lead in the Africa’s aviation industry in order to help contribute to developments on the continent.
“We want to share our views in a way that it is meaningful to you. There is no any country in the world that can say it has all the navigational equipment.
“We have challenges everywhere which are not unique, but the way we approach them is what matters,” he said.
Deputy Regional Director, ICAO, Prosper Minto’o, said Nigeria was considered as a leader on the continent in terms of its economic and aviation potential.
He noted that the global aviation industry needed to modernise the system and Nigeria had been a pioneer in the introduction of satellite technology in the region since early 1990s.
Mr Minto’o, however, said the navigational aids of the 1990s required upgrade to be in tandem with the modern global technologies.