Police Can’t Arrest Herdsmen For Grazing On Airport Runways –Commissioner

The Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Mustapha Dandaura, has revealed that members of the Nigeria Police Force cannot arrest herdsmen who allow their cattle to stray onto and graze on airport runways in the country.

Dandaura claimed that such arrest could only be made in states where the anti-open grazing law was effective.

In a recent media interview following the disruption of Akure airport operations by cows last weekend, he said, “It’s only in states where the anti-open grazing law is in place that herdsmen can be arrested for allowing their cattle to graze on airport runways. Apart from those states, we have not been told to start arresting herdsmen.

“But we have already alerted our men at the airports to ensure such incident does not occur again. The state police commands have also been carried along and everyone is on the alert.

“We can’t have a situation whereby cows would be straying onto and grazing on airport runways because it is embarrassing. Everyone is now on the alert and it’s going to be prevented.”

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria apologised Air Peace which was affected by the incident in Akure last week. The head of aviation security at the airport was also suspended.

NLC, Aviation Unions To Picket Airlines

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will on Thursday picket some domestic airlines at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, over alleged casualization of workers and refusal to recognize unions in the sector.

Mr. Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday. Abioye said the airlines to be picketed were Med-View Airline, Air Peace, Azman Air and FirstNation Airways. He said:

“Oct. 7 every year has been declared World Day For Decent Work by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and this campaign is geared towards that. “It is not only about welfare issues but it is about the refusal of the employers to

“It is not only about welfare issues but it is about the refusal of the employers to recognize registered trade unions, in order to allow them to have access to the workers for the purpose of unionizing them.

“The other critical aspect is that given the sensitive nature of the aviation industry, it is the fact that some of these airlines today have the majority of the people working for them as a contract or casual staff.

“That is a very dangerous thing to happen in our industry and we cannot tolerate it.” Abioye added that a list of the airlines involved had not only been submitted to the NLC but also to the government and the National Assembly.

He said NUATE would be joined in the protest by the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).




Source: Vanguard

Ondo State’s Aviation Sector Takes A New Turn

The aviation sector of in Ondo state took a new turn to development after  Air Peace made an announcement in a statement issued by its Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah in Lagos on Monday that a Nigerian carrier, will on Aug. 11 begin scheduled commercial flight operations to the Akure Airport in Ondo.

Iwarah said that the carrier was collaborating with the Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu administration to guarantee easy access to Ondo State by investors, tourists and other categories of air travellers.

He said that the inaugural Lagos-Akure-Lagos flight would take off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja at 1p.m. and touch down at the Akure Airport at 1.40 p.m.

According to him, the return flight will depart the Akure Airport at 2.10pm and land at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos at 2.50pm.

“We are delighted to announce the commencement of our Lagos-Akure-Lagos service on Aug. 11.

“Air Peace has been operating from our main hub in Lagos State since 2014, so the launch of the second route in the South West of Nigeria is only a natural progression.

“Air Peace is pleased to have this opportunity to add such an important destination as Akure to our local route network.

“Akure lies geographically on the tropical belt and is bordered in the north by Ekiti and Kogi; east by Edo; west by Oyo and Ogun.

“Ondo is one of Nigeria’s most exciting destinations for leisure and business travel.”

Iwarah expressed optimism that the flights to Akure would open up a whole new opportunity for Air Peace guests to visit and explore the wealth of tourist attractions of the state.

He said that it would also expand the access of investors and other categories of air travellers to connect with the state.

“The new route allows for connections to additional markets from Akure, creating a more convenient trip for those wishing to visit the city.

“We expect that our new service will contribute to the economy of Ondo State by bringing new travellers to the area from across our route network.

“We anticipate that the launch will jump-start the effort of Akeredolu to open up the Sunshine State to massive investment engagements,” he said.

Iwarah reiterated the airline’s commitment to offering all its guests first-class service and innovation, both on board and on the ground.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Air Peace, which began commercial flight operations in 2014, currently has presence in Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Enugu, Owerri, Sokoto and Accra-Ghana.

The airline has also secured approvals to operate flights to Lome, Monrovia, Abidjan, Dakar, Douala, Niamey and other West Coast countries of Africa.

In addition, the carrier has also been designated by the Federal Government to operate flights to international destinations, including Johannesburg, Atlanta, Dubai, Guangzhou-China, London and Mumbai, India.

Nigeria Has Over 120 Private Jets “Without Owners”

In a bid to go after wealthy tax defaulters, the Federal government has stumbled on one of the most shocking discoveries of the year. An investigation revealed that the multi-million dollar worth of super luxury gadgets, about 200 of them in Nigeria, was registered under shell companies while the identities of the real owners are left to speculation.

A handful of rich Nigerians, including religious leaders, have been said to own private jets under such conditions. Experts are, however, worried that the practice, besides aiding tax evasion, poses a security risk and violates the guiding Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs). Except those owned by the presidency (presidential fleet), key government agencies like the police, customs and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), state governments like Rivers and multinationals companies, others were registered under non-trading companies.

It was learned that most of the owners get lawyers that are versed in international and company laws to register shell companies on their behalf in offshore tax havens in Europe and the Middle East where little or no tax is paid.

United Nations Graduates 35 Nigerian Aviation Security Trainers

The United Nations Counter Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) has graduated 35 Nigerian aviation security master trainers as part of its project to support efficient security screening across Nigeria’s civil aviation infrastructure.

According to the UNCCT, the project which was initiated in July 2016 is a capacity-building project, which was co-founded by the British Government and Northern Island, was being implemented by UNCCT in partnership with Nigerian government.

The graduates will train aviation security experts in two training centres to be established in Lagos and Zaria.

“The project responds to the current security environment and supports strengthening of the aviation security sector in Nigeria and the broader region.

“It has brought together the best aviation security and counter-terrorism experts worldwide to develop these new training centres of excellence in Nigeria.

“This project is designed to improve aviation security at all airports throughout Nigeria, through a more efficient security screening process for all passengers, in accordance with the international standards required by ICAO and the European Union.

“The project will contribute directly to the Nigerian Government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy by helping to mitigate the threat posed to civil aviation by terrorist organizations and their operatives.

“It also contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2309 adopted on Sept. 22, 2016, which calls on member-states to take all necessary efforts to improve and protect aviation security worldwide,” UNCCT said.

The project also demonstrated the willingness and the continued effort of the Government of Nigeria to battle terrorism and protect its people.

The UNCCT was established in 2011 at United Nations headquarters in New York, within the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office.

The Centre provides capacity building support for Member-States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy through co-funded capacity.

Abuja Airport: FAAN Turns Terminal D into Departure H

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), says it is putting logistics in place to commence operations at the Terminal D of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from April 19.

The Managing Director of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

He also said that the authority took advantage of the six week closure of the airport to expand operation at the terminal.

Dunoma, however, assured that all the ongoing works at the terminal building would be completed before Wednesday, adding that Abuja airport would reopen as a brand new airport.

At the airport on Monday, contractors were seen putting finishing touches to the terminal in preparation for the reopening of the airport on Wednesday.

Terminal D, which was hitherto used as ticketing area by Arik Air, Air Peace and Dana Air, will henceforth be used as departure hall for domestic passengers in addition to the existing Terminal B.

FAAN’s spokesperson for the Airport, Mrs Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said the terminal would continue to serve the three airlines, adding that their passengers would henceforth board flights from there.

Hope-Ivbaze also said passengers of Arik, Air Peace, and Dana Air would no longer have to go to Terminal B to wait for their flights.

She further said the plan is to decongest the local wing and ease the suffering of passengers who always passed through stress to go to departure after booking.

“The terminal B is being arranged to also serve as departure for domestic passengers of three airlines that operate here.

“Everything here is of standard, we have installed 10 air conditioners here and we are installing lift and escalator,’’ she said.

Also at the Terminal B, lift has been installed to help physically challenged persons who travel through the airport.

All the seats at the terminal, including the protocol lounge, have been changed to new ones ahead of the reopening.

At the arrival section, all the seats have also being replaced with new ones, while all the toilets have been fixed and cleaned up.

The entire terminal building has been renovated; the international wing rehabilitated and cleaned up for operation.

Abuja airport was shut on March 8 for the repairs of its runway for six weeks while flights were diverted to Kaduna International Airport.

The rehabilitation work on the runway has been completed while the airport is billed to reopen on Wednesday.


Abuja Airport Repairs Nears Completion

Activities at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja will soon be restored as the maintenance that led to its temporary closure is almost completed. This was revealed by the Honorable Minister for State, Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika said that repairs of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, runway has attained 96 per cent completion.

Sirika stated this when he visited the site yesterday, one week ahead the proposed reopening of the airport. He said the work which commenced from runway 04 had progressed to runway 22, adding the laying of asphalt had been completed.

“You can see that where we are is runway 22 and remember the work started from runway 04 and has ended at runway 22.
“You can see that we have finished ashpalting and we are at 96 per cent completion level of the runway.

“What remains is a part of the airfield lighting and the markings which are being done simultaneously,” he stated.
The minister, however, explained that the runway had some undulating surfaces earlier but had has been reduced significantly to near-even level.

The minister, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), added that the camber for draining rainwater had been improved upon to stop the runway from retaining water as was the situation before the rehabilitation.

“We’ve got about a week to the due date for opening so we are on schedule,” he assured.
Sirika debunked insinuation that the airport would be run for only 12 hours after reopening, assuring that it would not be shut after reopening on April 19.

The airport was for six weeks from March 8 for rehabilitation of its failed runway and air travel operations were diverted to Kaduna airport during the period.
Kaduna airport has been experiencing heavy traffic since then.

Lufthansa Returns to Abuja 20 April

Lufthansa Airlines says it will resume flights on April 20 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja following the planned reopening of the airport on April 19.

The Airline’s Communication Manager in Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Jimo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that Lufthansa was ready to resume operation in Abuja when the airport reopens.

“We are planning and expecting an on-time opening and scheduling our first flights effective April 20,’’ he said.

On the level of work on the runway, Jimo commended the progress of work achieved by the contractor, saying the project had recorded good progress.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had on Friday expressed satisfaction with the level of work on the runway when he was told that the work had reached 80 per cent completion.

Osinbajo said that considering the level of seriousness on the part of the contractor, the rehabilitation would be completed before the April 19 promised by the government.

“We are told that we are nearing completion and we are clearly on schedule and we expect to see that this will be completed well on schedule,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that Lufthansa is one of the foreign airlines that declined to operate at Kaduna airport following the closure of Abuja airport and diversion of flights to Kaduna.


Nigerian Pilot Makes World History

A Nigerian pilot has become the first African to fly solo across the world.

Ademilola “Lola” Odujinrin, 38, a Boeing 737 pilot with Air Djibouti, spent just over eight months to complete the historic feat, flying a single-engine light aircraft across five continents with stopovers in more than 15 countries.

Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too’.’

The father of two touched down Wednesday at Washington’s Dulles Airport after visiting 20 countries on five continents in his record bid, which began at the same airport on 26 June 2016.

The journey covered 29,000 nautical miles across countries that included the US, Cameroon, Iceland, France, Egypt, Kenya, Bangladesh and Australia.

BBC Africa

Sirika Promises to Resign If Deadline is Not Met for Abuja Airport Reopening

Senator Hadi Sirika the Minister of State for Aviation, in a meeting with Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos has said that he will resign his appointment in the Federal Government fails to meet up with the six-weeks deadline for the rehabilitation of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Sirika said the level of work done in the first three weeks since the runway was closed on March 8, 2017, had shown that the work would be completed at the given date (April 19, 2017).

He further stated that the Kaduna airport was chosen to serve as an alternative to Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport was because it measured up to standard and security and safety measures that the the other airports around Abuja lacked.

He also noted that while the Minna airport is closer to Abuja, the road is a single lane, filled with potholes and along undulating topography and hills, adding that it is insecure and unsafe compared to Kaduna.
Besides, he said while there was immediate plan to rehabilitate the Kaduna-Abuja road, there was no plan to rebuild the Minna-Abuja road.

The minister added that he knew that the Abuja airport runway was bad even before he became the minister, noting that closing down the airport became inevitable when there was no other alternative to do a thorough and efficient rehabilitation.

“I knew the runway was bad before I became the minister. It was shown to me when I was a senator. It was a similar experience with Port Harcourt airport runway. The runway became so bad that it caved in. The airport was closed for two years. We cannot afford to close the Abuja airport for two year; that is why it became expedient that we do the job now. We are going to meet the deadline. Whatever work that would be done is going to be done without closing down the runway,” he said.

Airspace Violation: NCAA Fines Lyxor N9.5m

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has imposed a fine of N9.5 million on a non-schedule airline for operating in the country without flight clearance.

NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said in a statement on Sunday that the Letter of Sanction conveying the penalties had been sent to Lyxor International, a non-schedule general aviation operator.

He said the NCAA sanction came after the operator severally violated the terms of its approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

Adurogboye said the NCAA found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between Dec. 11, 2016 and Feb. 15, 2017.

“Therefore, in accordance with IS Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015), the airline is hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

“This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500, 000 per violation.

“The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6.5 million (i.e. N500, 000 x 13) for the 13 times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.

“In addition, for the six times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3 million (i.e.N500, 000 x 6).

“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6.5 million only, having made a deposit of N3 million towards possible sanctions,” he said.

Adurogboye added that the airline was expected to pay these fines within seven days of receipt of the letter.

According to him, NCAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) on Feb. 16, had during a routine Ramp Inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.

Adurogboye said: “Therefore, upon this discovery, the aircraft with registration mark T7-YES was immediately grounded by the ASI at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja.

“However, the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3 million on volitional condition on account of possible civil sanction.

“This was in addition to an undertaken to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation.”

He said the NCAA found the airline’s response to its Letter of Investigation unsatisfactory after due consideration.