The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday urged Nigerian airlines to diversify into domestic and international cargo operations.
This is important to make up for the expected fall in passengers after the COVID-19 lockdown, the Director-General, of the agency, Capt. Musa Nuhu, has said.
The DG spoke at an aviation webinar organised by SY&T Communications in collaboration with Aelex Partners with the topic: “Flying into Turbulent Skies, Safely Navigating COVID-19 headwinds: Survival Strategies for Nigerian Aviation.”
Daily Trust reports that there have been calls in recent times for domestic carriers to begin local cargo transportation across the country to shore up their revenue and strengthen profitability with experts saying there were over 100m metric tons of cargoes on the nation’s interstate roads from Lagos to the north and east.
Besides, the apex aviation regulatory agency in the country has made moves to strengthen its economic regulation function by signing a memorandum of understanding with aviation bodies all over the world.
The DG stressed that aviation over the years has evolved and airlines must innovate to cope with the increasing profitability challenges.
He noted that since it would take a longer time for passenger traffic to normalize to the pre-COVID-19 level, airlines could venture into domestic and international cargo services.
He said the NCAA would strengthen its economic regulations through a partnership with organisations such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United State, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“A lot of people think of NCAA as only about safety and technical but we also have a technical role in economic regulations and economic development of the industry and that is a department we are working to strengthen.
“We have already signed an MoU with a lot of organizations, FAA, IATA, I was supposed to sign with ICAO, we are working with EASA.
“Also the industry needs to help itself by thinking out of the box and innovating.
“The industry has changed, we must innovate and we must adapt to these changes to survive.”