Aviation Round Table’s New Year Message – Dr. Gabriel Olowo
Dear Esteemed Member,
From the depth of my heart, I am wishing you a prosperous new year. The year has begun with new visions, goals and aspirations, with renewed dedication to aviation business. I pray that 2020 be a fulfilling year for you and your family.
The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative is grateful for a year well spent. We set new goals in the beginning of the year, and with our concerted efforts, we achieved great feats together. I am very grateful to all members for your contribution to the success of ASRTI in the year 2019. I am of high hopes that 2020 will witness greater feats with your unshaken dedication to Aviation Round Table.
Our role as a nongovernmental watchman in the aviation industry was better played; we raised more incisive issues, and our voice became more echoed. 2019 featured quite a number of eventful occurrences in the industry; and our communiques addressed quite a number of them. We focused on the safety of travel, the viability of aviation business, the sanity of operations and monitoring, and the future of aviation in Nigeria and beyond.
It is worthy of mention that our quarterly business breakfast meetings last year addressed the most pressing issues in Nigerian aviation. Our discussion in the first BBM in 2020 addressed a core regulatory theme; “Nigerian Travel Agencies’ Challenges and Regulations.” We concluded, inter alia, that:
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the regulatory agency for air travel business in Nigeria, should go beyond licensing of travel agents and take steps to address the challenges that have in recent years, caused a decline in air bookings and performance of travel agencies in the country.
- The local content law in Nigeria needs to be applied fully in regulatory operation of travel agents so as to preserve the sector for benefits of Nigerian citizens.
- Stakeholders in the air travel business (airlines, NCAA, FAAN, and NANTA) need to frequently share data information to avoid conflicting figures in industry data which impede planning.
Our second quarter business breakfast meeting addressed the “Safety Challenges in Air Navigation and Air Traffic Service Delivery in Nigeria.” We recognised the challenges of training gaps, operational lapses, structural gaps, and policy gaps in air safety management in Nigeria. We made quality recommendations in our communique following the Q2 BBM.
To address the embarrassing gap between the Air Traffic Services and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), we suggested that a Memorandum of Understanding be signed with various universities in Nigeria to collaboratively train some students ab initio, after which they may proceed to have On-The-Job Trainings (OJT).
Our business breakfast meeting in quarter 3 focused on the “Advantages of Implementing AIB Recommendations.” We addressed the gap between the recommendations of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the implementations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
We strongly advocated a strong collaboration between AIB and the NCAA in their common goal of promoting aviation safety and preventing air accidents. We however held that the NCAA, service providers and operators may not implement certain recommendations of the AIB, provided that, with tangible reasons, they find such recommendations unimplementable, and they communicate their reasons to the AIB.
Whereas, the BBM of the final quarter in 2019 looked at “Nigerian Aviation Beyond 2025.” We recognised all industry stakeholders as key players in the quest to prepare Nigerian aviation for the future. We pointed out the need to ditch the old-fashioned blame-shifting approach to addressing issues.
In all our quarterly business breakfast meetings in 2019, we accentuated the need for collaboration across all sectors of the aviation industry. In our bid to promote the development of Nigerian aviation, we sought cooperation of all professionals, industry leaders, operators, directors of all government agencies and parastatals, and even from other realms outside the Nigerian aviation industry.
Finally, I once again thank all members of this prestigious organization, ASRTI, for your undying resilience. I hereby urge you all to renew your pledge this new year to contribute actively to the mission of the ART. I am certain that with our committed dedication to drive the change we desire, coupled with consistent collaboration with all stakeholders, public and private, Nigerian aviation shall reach greater heights in due time.
President, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI).