Nigerian Airports Record 41,745 Flight Delays

Nigerian airports recorded 36,350 domestic and 5,395 international flight delays in 2018. This was disclosed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in its executive summary published on its website. The records showed that two leading domestic airlines – Air Peace and Arik Air – topped the list of domestic flight delay. Continue reading

Rwanda’s First Female Pilot Takes To The Skies At 24

Esther Mbabazi trained to fly Rwandair regional jets despite her father being killed in a plane crash when she was eight.Rwanda’s first female pilot, Esther Mbabazi, 24, said ‘being a pilot really was my childhood dream’. Photograph: Sean Jones

for the Guardian Esther Mbabazi was eight years old when her father was killed in a crash as the plane he was flying in overshot the runway landing in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue reading

NCAA New DG Designate

NCAA New DG Designate

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday forwarded the name of Captain Folayele Akinkuotu to the Senate for confirmation as the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This is in line with the provisions of Section 8 (3) (a) and (c) of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006.

Akinkuotu’s nomination followed the sack of former NCAA boss, Harold Demuren, on Tuesday by the Federal Government.

 

The President in a letter to the Senate President said the sack of Demuren and appointment of Akinkuotu was in line with concerns expressed by aviation stakeholders on perceived poor internal audit and quality assurance in the NCAA.

He said the Federal Government is in the process of restructuring the Authority for better and more efficient service delivery.

“Consequently, Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren has been relieved of his appointment, as the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in line with the provisions of Section 8 (30 (a) and (c) of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006.

“In line with Section 8 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006, I hereby, present the nomination of Captain Fola C. Akinkuotu, from the same geo-political zone as Dr. Demuren, as the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for the confirmation of the Senate.”

The President then expressed the hope that Senate will consider and confirm the nominee in its usual expeditious manner.

Also on Thursday, the President forwarded a Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Police Academy (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2013 to the Senate and expressed the hope that it will receive the usual prompt attention of the Senators.

Aviation sources confided in Daily Independent on Thursday that besides Akinkuotu, two others are also being considered for top appointment at the NCAA.

They are Dele Sasogbon and Benedict Oluwole Adeyileka.

While Sasogbon is scheduled to come on board as Director, General Aviation, Adeyileka has been pencilled down as the new Director of Airworthiness Standards (DAWS).

Sasogbon is presently the Special Assistant (Technical) to the Minister of Aviation.

Adeyileka is a Technical Director at Aero Contractors Airline.

Daily Independent learnt that the Federal Government, like Jonathan told Senate in the case of Akinkuotu, decided to make all the appointments from the South West region to correct the erroneous impression that the dismissal of Demuren had ethnic colouration.

It was equally gathered that Demuren would not have lost his job on Tuesday, but for the alleged intervention of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.

“The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, had always maintained her stand that Demuren cannot be sacked based on the Dana crash of June 3, 2012. She even threatened at a time that she would quit her job should anything happen to Demuren. The Minister has a lot of respect for Demuren.

“But to her (Oduah) surprise, Demuren took his case to Tinubu for intervention. The former Lagos State Governor through an emissary pleaded with President (Jonathan) that Demuren is the last Yoruba man standing in the aviation industry and that he should be spared.

“Tinubu based his intervention on a letter sent to all heads of aviation parastatals to indicate when they would observe their annual vacation.

“Demuren was to proceed on vacation today (March 15, 2013). Perhaps, that letter was perceived as a prelude to his exit from the NCAA.

“When the President called the Minister to inform her of Tinubu’s intervention, she (Oduah) got angry and told the President to take his appropriate decision on Demuren. That was how he was sacked,” our source said on Thursday.

Akinkuotu, a veteran of the aviation industry who still maintains current Airline Transport Pilot Licence, started his aviation career early in life, immediately after A’ Levels. He qualified as an Aircraft Engineer in 1972 when he joined the defunct Nigeria Airways. As an engineer he practiced for five years before becoming a Duty Engineer in the Presidential Fleet.

Furthermore, in 1978 he proceeded to the United States of America where he trained and qualified as a Commercial Pilot and Flight Engineer. The high point of his career came in 1998, when he was captain under whose command Pope John Paul II was flown during his pastoral visit to Nigeria.

Adeyileka is a seasoned aviation professional with over three decades of real world experience in various aircraft engineering disciplines, including aircraft maintenance engineering disciplines, mechanical, avionics, and quality systems technical services.

He is a product of Leeds Metropolitan University and Napier University, both in England and Scotland respectively. He also holds a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Licence with various type ratings.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the robbery attack at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, that left two policemen and one armed robber dead on Wednesday night, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), George Uriesi, has directed operators of Bureau-de-Change at the MMIA car park to leave immediately.

FAAN confirmed that the two policemen that were killed by the armed robbers were the ones who escorted their boss to the airport and not policemen from the Air Police Command.

It was also confirmed that one of the suspected robbers was killed during the shootout with security agents at the airport. According to General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Dati, the robbery incident happened at the FAAN controlled car park.

He said the robbers gained access to the park through a small gate linking the stakeholders’ car park with the main one. He added that the incident did not happen at the MMIA terminal building contrary to media report, adding that activities of the Bureau-de-Change operators (black market operators) attracted the armed robbers to the car park.

 

 

Kano trains 100 pilots in Jordan

Kano trains 100 pilots in Jordan

Culled from National Mirror

The Kano State Government is to spend about N1.7 billion in the training of 100 graduates as pilots in Jordan. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State announced the plan at a send-off party for the trainees. The governor maintained that the state would spend more than N10.7 million on each student.

 

He said the gesture was part of the government’s determination to empower the people and make them self-reliant. The governor urged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of their families, the state and the country.

 

“To whom much is given, much is expected. The state government has spent a lot on you and you should give the best back.

Do not use the opportunity to afterwards to steal from government and deprive the people of their rights,’’ he told the trainees.

In his address, former Presidential Adviser on Aviation, Capt. Shehu Iyal, urged the beneficiaries to use the training as a way of improving the aviation sector of the country.

He said it was a rare opportunity for the beneficiaries to improve their status and expose the potential of the state A representative of the parents of the beneficiaries, Hajiya Hauwa Mohammed, commended Kwankwaso for the gesture and prayed God to continue to guide and protect him. The students will spend 18 months at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Jordan.

Oduah and aviation industry appointments

Oduah And Aviation Industry Appointments

WHEN  the people of the South west allege that they were marginalised by the appointment of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah I get amused. And when I hear that the appointment she made was dominated by people from the South east I get bewildered.

If you check it you will discover that Oduah’s appointments were the most balanced in the industry since 1999 because it gave full representation to every part of the country. But I know why the South west is surprisingly crying marginalisation.

 

In the past, they used to dominate every appointment made in the industry. And even now, if you get the list of all the workers in all the aviation parastatals, you will find out that they have the highest number of appointments.

They are alleging ethnic cleansing because other parts of the country have been given opportunity.

What I have come to know about Nigeria is that when you enjoy an unjustifiable advantage, you would want it to continue and when there is any effort to address the injustice, those benefitting begin to shout because they see it as a right to cheat others.

For example, I was privileged to access some documents in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria when Richard Aisuebeogun was the Managing Director of the Authority.

These documents revealed that the former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode employed about 30 persons in FAAN. 16 of them were made assistant general managers, deputy general managers and general managers, while the rest were absorbed in other ranks.

These people did not have any aviation experience before they were employed. In fact, most of them came from local government councils and others were just hangers-on. These 30 people came from Osun and Ogun states. When many of them were examined medically prior to their employment, they failed medical tests; yet they were still absorbed. Many of them are still there till date.

That is the way he deployed about the same number of people to the other aviation agencies. Now, I cannot recall any group from other parts of Nigeria that cried about ethnic cleansing then. I cannot recall the unions raising hell about it. I also know that there were efforts to reduce staff in FAAN at the time because of over bloated manpower, as the Authority lacked technical personnel but had very high number of administrative personnel because unprofessional persons were dumped on the Authority.

I remember that all the efforts made to reduce that number failed because some powerful people were contacted to frustrate the move. And so the agency lives with that burden till today. The question is why were there no outcry about marginalisation and ethnic cleansing then?

To me, it was because the people who over the years have seen it as a right to dominate other people made the appointments. They did not even consider federal character; they did not even consider getting few people from other parts of the country; yet there was no deafening outcry. Today, Princess Oduah employed Nigerians into the parastastals, taking cognizance of the federal character and some people are crying wolf.

I stand to be contradicted, but I am sure that most of those who are crying ethnic cleansing and marginalisation have not seen the actual number of people employed and where they came from. Somebody just raised an allegation and it automatically transmuts to a fact; nobody cares to verify because the objective is to run some people down.

Some people, especially some journalists who are campaigning against the appointment had argued that two wrongs do not make a right; that because somebody did it in the past does not mean that somebody should do now. I wish this argument and logic started at least six years ago. That is why I said I am amused when I read this in the papers.

I think the earlier we realised that every Nigerian has a stake in this country and has equal opportunity in this country the better our chances of sustaining the future of our dear nation. Those who think they will continue to lord it over others should think again and realise that Nigeria was not created for them alone; it was created for all Nigerians.

Campaign of calumny can never submerge the truth; it can only heat up the political system and facts always stand out at the end of the day. And it is even surprising that the people of the South west are the ones crying ethnic cleansing and marginalisation.

I remember some years back when they mocked a region well known for the word, marginalisation and accused them of whipping up ethnic sentiments. Isn’t it surprising that the words ethnic cleansing and marginalisation are not, after all, a monopoly of some ethnic groups.

Mr. BITRUS OGBA, a former GM Adm with FAAN, wrote from Jos. 

 

Lawmakers Recommend Criminal Prosecution for Former NCAA DG

The Federal Government has ordered the removal of the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr Harold Demuren.

In a brief statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Mr Sam Nwaobosi with the reference number PPR/OSGF/PR/02, it said the decision was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan after “a careful consideration” of Demuren’s “unsatisfactory response to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector.”

However, a replacement for his office has not been named.

The statement entitled, ‘Removal of Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren from office as Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,’ read: “His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has approved the removal of Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren from office as the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority with effect from March 12, 2013.

“This is consequent upon a careful consideration of Dr. Demuren’s unsatisfactory response to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector. Mr. President wishes him well in his future endeavours.”

Both the Senate and House of Representatives had called for the sacking of the NCAA DG following last year’s crash of a Dana Air plane in Ishaga area of Lagos that claimed 163 lives.

The House of Representatives had on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, blamed the June 3, 2012 crash on negligence by the regulatory authorities and recommended the dismissal and prosecution of Demuren.

The Joint Committee on Aviation of both chambers of the National Assembly had investigated the crash

After the consideration and adoption of the report by the committee, the recommendation that Demuren be sacked was made.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, had while briefing the House said several faults were reported on the ill-fated aircraft prior to the crash, but alleged that the NCAA continued clearing it for operations.

“The aircraft had five air returns before the crash; only one was due to bird strike. The others were caused by faults in the aircraft.

“The NCAA should have grounded the aircraft, but the agency did not care about the lives of Nigerians. Each time a fault was detected, the NCAA continued to clear the aircraft for flying,” she said.

The report noted that despite the fact that there was no certified engineer for the MD83 aircraft in Nigeria, the NCAA approved it for operations in the country.

The committee also recommended the dismissal and prosecution of the NCAA inspector, Mr. Suleiman Akwuh, who cleared the plane for flying.

The report read in part, “The DG (Demuren), who approved and deployed the officer, should also be dismissed from service and prosecuted for criminal negligence.

“The NCAA, under the current DG, Dr. Harold Demuren, brought in the MD83 to operate in Nigeria even when there is no licensed engineer rated on the aircraft.

“For the period under review, Dana operated 14 air returns caused by system failure, which is a sufficient indication of imminent danger.

“Up to the time of this report, NCAA is still without any licensed engineer type-rated on MD83, yet it is going ahead with technical audit on Dana operations with a view to restoring its licence. This constitutes negligence.

“The tenure of the current DG of the NCAA had expired three months before the Dana crash occurred on June 3, 2012.”

The House directed that NCAA should be allowed to function as an autonomous agency without interference from the Ministry of Aviation.

“The staff strength of the NCAA should be totally overhauled with a view to injecting technically and professionally qualified personnel to enhance its regulatory role in accordance with international best practices,” the report added.

In January this year, the Senate also recommended the sacking of Demuren for negligence over the Dana Air crash.

It also approved a recommendation for the revocation of the Air Operating Certificate of Dana Airlines, saying, “It was not issued in full compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations 2009.”

 

ICAO and UNWTO Affirm Cooperation on Joint Aviation and Tourism Goals

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and UNWTO signed a special Joint Statement on Aviation and Tourism today, acknowledging the intention of the two UN agencies to begin cooperating more closely on issues of common priority.

The Joint Statement was signed by ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, on the occasion of the official opening of the ICAO Sixth Worldwide Air Transport Conference (ATConf/6).

 

Visa facilitation, taxation, the modernization of aviation regulations and the development of convergent rules for traveller and enterprise protection were stressed in the Statement as key areas for improved collaboration.

“Separate sectorial policies on air transport and tourism result in a fundamental, and too often even conflicting disconnect which constitutes a severe constraint on the development of travel and tourism” stressed Mr. Rifai. “The signing of this Statement therefore represents a defining moment – one which can set air transport and tourism on a common path on matters of shared concern with considerable mutual benefit.”

More than one billion tourists crossed international borders during 2012, over half of who travelled by air to their destinations. The total number of international tourists, which includes both business and leisure travellers, is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.

“Based on ICAO’s latest forecasts, aircraft departures are forecast to grow from 30 million today to 60 million by 2030,” noted ICAO’s Benjamin. “These figures support the UNWTO’s tourism projections and highlight how important it is that our organizations continue to address air transport system capacity and related challenges today, in order to maximize the economic development aspects of air transport and tourism tomorrow.”

Additional areas outlined for future cooperation by ICAO and the UNWTO included air passenger flow management at airports, air capacity for least developed countries and the continued reduction of environmental impacts resulting from international air travel and tourism. Due consideration will be maintained on the importance of air transport to tourism development in long-haul destinations and landlocked or island states.

Benjamin and Rifai concluded their ceremony by jointly highlighting the considerable contributions of aviation and tourism to raise employment, fuel economic growth and social development. Together, their organizations will now be focusing on addressing existing obstacles to aviation and tourism growth as to ensure both sectors continue to contribute in a sustainable manner to global prosperity.

FG to train 200 pilots in aviation industry

In order to tackle manpower shortage in the aviation sector, the FG has announced that it will train about 200 aircraft and helicopter pilots in the Presidential Amnesty programme.

Mr. Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, disclosed this while speaking at a pre-departure ceremony in Lagos for the first batch of delegates to depart for offshore training in 2013.

Kuku said: “Of the 282 delegates, 21 are to be trained as aircraft and helicopter pilots at the JetStream Aviation Academy in Athens, Greece, for 15 months, bringing to over 215, the number of delegates so far trained in aviation related fields.

“As at the last count, we have offered for training about 215 persons in aviation related fields. We just noticed that there is a gap, particularly in the ground staff and aircraft maintenance engineers, so we are diversifying.

“Even some of them that set out to be trained as pilots originally, had to switch to other fields due to their inability to cope with the requirements of the training. As you know, there is a growing need for private aircraft ownership all over the country. If you go to the General Aviation Terminal wing of the Abuja Airport, you will see that there are more private jets than commercial jets, so there is a space to be filled and that is why we are training pilots to fill these spaces.”

Ethiopian Airlines: Bombardier’s & Boeing Africa’s Largest customer receive attention from AIRBUS

During a visit to Ethiopian Airlines’ Headquarters in Addis Ababa on March 5, 2013, Pierre Beaudoin, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc., held extensive discussions with Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and other senior executive management members regarding Ethiopian successful Q400* NextGen* aircraft operations. The two companies are working to enhance their already strong and mutually beneficial relationship, in view of the expected high growth of regional intra-Africa travel in the coming years. With its fleet of 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft, Ethiopian is the largest operator of the Bombardier-manufactured Q400 aircraft in Africa, deploying the aircraft in domestic and regional operations.

The airline recently phased-in five new Q400 NextGen aircraft that were the first outfitted with a dual-class configuration on Bombardier’s production line. With seven fully dedicated business class seats, a second lavatory, and hot meal capability, Ethiopian is able to offer more services to its customers. Ethiopian plans to reconfigure its existing fleet of Q400 aircraft with a fully dedicated business class.

 

This came as Ethiopian Airlines and Airbus have partnered to host workshops for close to 100 students from schools in Addis Ababa this week. The workshops will be conducted by The Little Engineer (TLE), an organisation dedicated to instilling an appreciation of science and technology among today’s youth. These workshops are taking place at Ethiopian Airlines’ Aviation Academy in the framework of celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty by the Embassies of French Republic and Federal Republic of Germany in Addis Ababa. “As the fastest growing African airline, Ethiopian Airlines attaches great importance to the nurturing of young talents. In line with our Vision 2025, we aim to train and avail enough skilled aviation professionals to satisfy not just our growing needs but to also cater for the demand throughout Africa. We are proud to join efforts with Airbus in bringing “The Little Engineer” program to Ethiopia so as to acquaint and inspire young Ethiopian students to join our technology driven industry,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “ “Africa plays an important role in the future of aviation with an estimated demand of 957 new aircraft for the coming 20 years. Ethiopia’s estimated passenger growth for the same period stands at 8.1 per cent,” said Alan Pardoe, Head of Marketing Communications for Airbus. “With its forward-thinking approach, Ethiopian Airlines has a lot to offer to the future of travel and to help in shaping it. We are very excited that Addis Ababa is one of our first destinations to conduct the TLE workshops.”

Airbus has announced earlier this month a regional partnership with TLE as a result of on-going efforts to inspire and instill a passion for science and technology at an early age. It aims through this partnership to engage with more than 500 students in Africa and the Middle East in 2013.

Ethiopian is investing heavily in the development of maintenance and training capabilities for the aircraft in the region, including for Bombardier’s Q100*, Q200*, Q300* and Q400 aircraft. It was recently granted approval from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for full airframe maintenance capability of the Q100, Q200, Q300 and Q400 aircraft. Ethiopian will also soon receive a Q400 aircraft simulator, the first one in Africa, which will be used for pilot training. Ethiopian is also working to get authorization from Bombardier to provide full airframe maintenance services on the Q400 aircraft. “We are very happy with the performance of the Q400 NextGen aircraft in our domestic and regional operations,” said Mr. Tewolde. “The regional intra-Africa travel is set to boom in the coming years and we see a bright future for our relationship with Bombardier. In line with our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, we will need more regional aircraft, not just to cater for our own fast-growing domestic and regional network, but also to realize our multi-hub strategy in Africa. Already, we have a strong regional partner in West Africa ASKY, which is also using the Q400 aircraft. We plan to build similar strong regional hubs in Southern and Central Africa.”