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All aircraft operating in Nigeria are safe, NCAA DG assures air travellers

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on Friday assured air travellers that the country’s aircraft were safe.

The NCAA Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, gave the assurance during the 46th Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, held in Kano.

Mr Nuhu said this was to debunk the belief of most air travellers that Nigerian local airlines only purchased old aircraft.

He, however, advised aviation stakeholders across the country to focus more on working unanimously to take the industry to an enviable height.

“All local aircratft are safe, we don’t have old ones,” he said.

Mr Nuhu disclosed that March 25 was a significant day in the aviation industry, being the 75th anniversary of KLM airline operations in Nigeria, as they introduced Kano-Amsterdem flight in 1947.

He said that aviation began in Nigeria on Nov.1, 1925 when the first flight landed in the city of Kano, Nigeria.

“So, today is the 96th year and 4 months anniversary of when aviation began in the country.

“Aviation started in the city of Kano on Nov. 1, 1925, the first aircraft to ever land in Nigeria, a British air force royal aircraft.

“The Nigerian aviation industry has grown exponentially big but there is room for significant growth and improvement.

“Some government policies being put in place should be made to complement the private sector in the Nigerian civil aviation industry.

“We need understanding to work together, this is the reason we are coming up with quarterly stakeholders’ meetings so that people can open up on their challenges,” he said.

Mr Nuhu noted that currently, local airfares were truly expensive compared to other climes.

He added that this could be addressed when there is a significant competition for the airlines.

He noted that domestic airline operating international routes and offering good services should continue such, but with lower airfares while the foreign airlines would have no choice but to reduce their airfares too.

“The international airlines will lower their airfares in order not to lose significant portion of the market, the issue is developing our airline to be able to fly various destinations,” he said.

Mr Nuhu spoke extensively on the benefits of the newly inaugurated airport terminal in Lagos, adding that this would go a long way in tackling the problem of congestion which had caused serious apprehension among passengers.

He said NANTA’s challenges would be attended to, noting that the association comprised a significant portion of the aviation eco-system.

“They contribute to the nation’s economy, so they must be protected to the best of the NCAA’s ability.

“We will ensure we sit together with the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) to proffer solutions to the challenges of NANTA,” he said.

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