Managing Director, Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, has advised the new Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika to implement certain reforms needed in the Nigerian aviation industry.
He said the nation is due for the international application for aircraft repair and overhaul in order to reduce the problem of taking aircraft abroad.
The Med-View boss explained that if the feat is achieved, it would reduce operators’ exposure to foreign exchange, which is expected to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the country.
Aside from the application, he expects the minister to address the issue of fuel hydrant, a situation where aircraft wait for traffic to subside before trucks bring fuel.
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He said, “We have passed that stage. In the past, in this same country we had that on the ramp, it reduces delay, contamination, and pressure. I heard the airport in Asaba will be a litmus test, let’s pray it comes up fine and then we make a change at the other airports to develop the industry.
“The minister should look into all the agencies. We don’t have to go on with the same stories; we need to go deep. Where there needs to be a surgical operation, it should be carried out; there are a lot of reforms that have to be carried out. We are bound by the International Civil Aviation Organisation regulations and International Air Transport Association and even internally, we need a lot of orientation and awareness.”
On open skies for Africa, Bankole said Nigeria is backward compared to what is obtainable in the European Union.
“There were 26 of them, they started an open sky and set up two to three bodies, one to leverage payment overfly, they call them Euro Control; the other is called European Union Aviation Safety Agency to leverage on technicality, viability and safety.
“Why don’t we have something like that? It is not a crime. America has it; Asia has it. The whole essence is to come together; we are about 54 nations, if I am right, just like in West Africa, we can call it open skies West Africa. Nothing stops me from going to Togo. We are brothers, if you look at the geographical location we are all on the coastline up to Dakar, Senegal,” he added.