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Stakeholders upbeat as FAAN’s national aviation confab kicks off

The much anticipated national aviation conference organised by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) kicks off today, June 14, 2022 with investors and other…

The much anticipated national aviation conference organised by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) kicks off today, June 14, 2022 with investors and other aviation stakeholders looking forward to discussions on a wide variety of issues affecting airport operations. 

This is the first of its kind being organised by FAAN led by the forward-looking Managing Director/Chief Executive, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.

The forum is set to galvanise the aviation sector for far-reaching impacts through brainstorming, engaging interactions, and providing a platform for investors to appraise the opportunities.

Tagged FNAC, the investors and stakeholders forum is taking place at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja from June 14 to 17 with the aim to fill a perceived vacuum in the sub-region as there are currently no similar platforms for such interaction.

The conference was initially scheduled to be held 1st–4th April, 2020 and preparation had reached an advanced stage before it was truncated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which grounded the sector and the entire world.

This year’s theme ‘Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport’ will enable stakeholders to brainstorm and share knowledge and ideas on contemporary developments that will provide veritable solutions to the growth of the industry.

Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Yadudu, who spoke on the conference, said it is specifically designed to create a forum for the exchange of relevant industry information with all critical stakeholders so that all players are guided by the same set of principles and practises for conformity.

The conference, he explained further, will also offer stakeholders the opportunity to explore, deliberate and understand how technology-driven innovations will change air travel in decades to come as well as discuss the future of airports vis-à-vis innovations, safety and security, financing and leasing, sustainability, growth drivers, logistics, etc.

FNAC also aims to attract local and international investors in its investment forum session, which will take place on 16th and 17th June, 2022, and will focus on appraising investors with the opportunities in the Nigerian aviation industry.

Also, the conference will offer indigenous industry stakeholders a voice to express their needs and educate others on their operations, as well as build the indigenous intellectual capacity that is required to complement and effectively manage the infrastructural developments in the industry.

In the course of this engaging conference, there will be presentations delivered by experts and professionals in the industry including: Alicia Stephens (World Bank Group), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu (Managing Director FAAN), Chairman Air Peace Limited, Chief Allen Onyeama, Capt. Roland Iyayi, Managing Director TopBrass, Emeka Offor- Ag. Executive Secretary/Chief Executive NIPC, and Engr. Peter Onyeri (Safety).

Others are Ilitrus Ahmadu, President Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Dr. Anne Egbadon-Eyinaya fsi, DG, NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Dr. Wilfred Haggai, General Manager, Aeromedical Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Professor Adesoki Adesuga MD, NEPZA.

The conference boasts of incisive topics like Implementing Single African Transport Market (SAATM): Challenges and Prospects, National Security: Emerging Trends; Consolidating Safety Culture in the Nigerian Aviation Industry, as well as Developing Home Grown Protocols for Crisis Management in Aviation Industry (Lessons from COVID-19).

There will also be other key topics in the weeklong event like: Ease of Doing Business as a Panacea for Boosting Investments in Nigerian Airports; Special Economic Zones at the Airports and Trade Facilitation: Growing Revenue and the National GDP, as well as the topic of Addressing Nigeria’s Unviable Airport Syndrome.

Others are: Nigerian Airports; Gateway to Developing and Managing Tourist Destination in Nigeria, Harnessing Opportunities in Nigeria Air Cargo Development through States’ Collaboration and Partnership; Challenges of Route Development in Nigeria’s Aviation, and Collaborative Service Delivery in Nigeria’s Air transport Industry: The Way Forward.

FNAC’s primary aim is to market its assets towards achieving commercially viable airports (especially the secondary airports) as well as creating access to sustainable alternatives for revenue generation at Nigerian airports through funding and innovative ideas.

The forum will centre on the strategic diversification of FAAN’s revenue sources with emphasis on non-aeronautical revenue lines, including but not limited to advertisement, tourism and land development.

In achieving the above objectives, the conference will seek collaboration with state governments and potential investors to explore the huge investment opportunities in the states through airports.

It is believed that will open up new air routes with corresponding increase in passengers’ traffic and liaison expected to be win win for all stake holders.

In addition, the forum will serve as a platform to showcase the commercial offerings at the airports and in the respective states to attract foreign and local investments.

This is borne out of our belief that if the opportunities in the states are adequately harnessed (especially in agriculture, tourism, solid minerals, etc), they will drive passenger traffic into these locations with the attendant chain effects signalling commercial viability of our airports.

The conference is widely viewed by stakeholders as a laudable venture as getting everyone to solve the problems the sector faces is something that has been lacking in the industry for long and leading to the many discordant tunes being played by policy makers, policy executors, service providers and those who use these services.

FNAC aims to be a bridge between local and foreign investors and Nigeria and, with the airports being the gateway to the country, there is no better place to start investing from.

Speaking further on the conference, the FAAN MD said, “We observe that in Nigeria, we don’t have any platform that is recurrent for stakeholders to sit down, access their position, analyse it, share knowledge and take necessary steps to promote cooperation, collaboration and the general progress of the industry. It is like everyone is doing his own – we don’t sit down to collaborate and cooperate. It is when you cooperate that you have synergy. 

So, FAAN decided to arrange it, organise it and implement this national aviation conference in the interest of the Nigerian aviation industry.

“It is called FAAN National Aviation Conference (FNAC) because FAAN is funding it 100 per cent. We are doing it as a form of national service for the whole industry.

“It is from FAAN to all the agencies, airport stakeholders, passenger organisations, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the media, labour unions, ACI, ICAO, embassies, state governments across Nigeria and other interested organisations.