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FG lifts ban on Kaduna-Abuja helicopter shuttle

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on commercial helicopters shuttling between Abuja and Kaduna.

Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser (NSA), had directed regulatory agencies not to allow commercial helicopters to use the Abuja airspace.

He stated that only flights with permission from the presidency should be allowed.

Monguno advised passengers using the Kaduna Airport, to travel either by road or rail.

But on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Haidi Sirika, announced that the ban had been lifted.

Sirika disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“On the helicopter issue, the national security adviser has the constitutional responsibility vested on him by Mr President to advise the president on national security matters.

“Within his wisdom, he sent out letters banning the helicopters operation into the airport but the national security adviser had earlier this morning said that helicopters will of course continue to fly to Abuja airport from wherever.

“The procedure that they will use to approach the airport under landing spot will be advised accordingly before the end of today, which means that helicopters can come into Abuja and out bearing in mind that within the metropolitan city of Abuja, there are no fly zones, and this is very normal in every country.”

 

Nigeria’s NSA bans Kaduna-Abuja helicopter shuttle

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, has banned a planned helicopter shuttle service from Kaduna to Abuja, following the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

A helicopter shuttle service company, Maple Aviation Logistics Limited, had in the past few weeks advertised its offers to pick passengers at the Kaduna International Airport and drop them off at the National Stadium trip in its AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky 92 helicopters at the cost of N49,999.

A letter dated March 6 and seen by DAILY NIGERIAN, read in part: “In view of the closure of the airport, air travellers will be required to travel by road/train to Abuja from Kaduna International Airport. This will undoubtedly cause constraints on the movement of some passengers who will aim to travel using other means, notably the use of commercial ferry helicopters.

But a letter titled “Restriction of Helicopter Ferry Flights Over Abuja Metropolis” and labelled “confidential” by the Office of the NSA said “air travellers will be required to travel by road/train to Abuja”.

The letter dated March 6 and seen by DAILY NIGERIAN, read in part: “In view of the closure of the airport, air travellers will be required to travel by road/train to Abuja from Kaduna International Airport. This will undoubtedly cause constraints on the movement of some passengers who will aim to travel using other means, notably the use of commercial ferry helicopters.

“Please be reminded that the airspace over the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is controlled and only security flights or those with the requisite security clearance from the Presidency are granted overhead clearance for obvious security reasons. Consequently, you are to note and ensure that no charter or commercial helicopter ferry flights are allowed to fly within Abuja airspace.”

On March 9, international and local flights to Abuja were diverted to Kaduna, which is a two-hour journey back to the capital city by road.

In view of the diversion of the air traffic, Nigerian government reportedly tightened security on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, notorious for kidnapping and armed robbery.


Flights to Nigeria Face Disruption with Abuja Airport Closure

Flights into the Nigerian capital Abuja are set for significant disruption with the city’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (DNAA) due to close for at least six weeks from March 8. Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council recently confirmed a contentious decision by the Ministry of Aviation to press ahead with the full closure of the airport to allow for extensive repairs to a badly potholed runway and the construction of a new second runway.

While the work is completed flights will be diverted to Kaduna Airport (DNKA), located 100 miles north of Abuja. Flight-planning specialists UAS International Trip Support and Jetex both confirmed that the Abuja airport is due to be closed from March 8 through April 19. 

According to UAS, Kaduna is primarily a domestic airport, but has been used for international flights during the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Local officials are now trying to expedite expansion work to the terminal building. However, airline passengers will have to check in at Abuja and then be tranported in buses to Kaduna, where secondary security screening will be conducted before departure. Nigeria’s main business city, Lagos, is 450 miles to the south and this drive commonly takes up to around 11 hours.

According to Nigeria’s minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, the runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport has not had any significant maintenance for almost 14 years. The airport was built in 1982 with a single runway that was due to be rebuilt after 20 years. This work never happened and the bidding process for the new runway has been subject to delays.

Sirika told a press conference that in the future the Nigerian government intends to seek proposals to redevelop and run the country’s main airports under concessions granted to private investors. He did not say when this process will begin. A contract signed in November 2006 for a private consortium to manage Abuja’s airport under a 25-year agreement was abandoned in 2008.

Currently, three airlines offer direct international service to Abuja: British Airways, KLM Air France and Lufthansa. These carriers have yet to confirm their plans for services during the period when Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is closed. The airport, which is just 12 miles west of the city center, also attracts significant numbers of business aircraft.

Another difficulty endured by airlines and other aircraft operators over the past 12 months have been shortages of fuel at airports including those in Lagos, Abuja and Kano. This has resulted in fluctuating prices and problems with credit and arrangements for credit.

culled from http://www.ainonline.com

 

MMIA Maintains Africa’s 5th Busiest Airport

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos has been rated Africa’s 5th busiest airport and the fastest growing airport in the continent in terms of passenger volume. The airport comes after the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, with 19.1 million passengers annually; the Cairo International Airport; the Cape Town International Airport and the Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca, Morocco in that order.

With passenger volume doubling to 15 million from the 2014 figure of 7.5 million, MMIA is rated as one of the fastest growing in Africa.

The new terminal which is billed to become operational  later this year, is forecast to bring the number of passengers passing through the airport to 30 million in the next few years.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe Internation Airport, Abuja is rated as 12th most busiest following Hurghada International Airport, Hurghada, Egypt which is 6th after MMIA, Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Tunis-Carthage Airport Tunis, and King Shaka International Airport, Durban, South Africa in that order.

Morocco’s Marrakesh Menara Airport, Marrakesh is 13th busiest airport in the continent after the Abuja airport.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has made a 20-year passenger growth forecast projects that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034, which represents a 4.1 per cent average annual growth in demand for air connectivity and African airports are rated amongst the fastest-growing markets.

It is also projected that with its current growth rate, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and other major airports in the country would benefit from the increased passenger movement with the expansion of the terminal facilities.

Reacting to the rating, spokesman of FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati said before the end of this year, FAAN would be processing over 20 million passengers annually from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

He hinted that the existing 15 million passengers processed annually would be boosted when the new international terminal with the capacity for another 15 million passengers comes on stream late 2016.

Dati explained that the poor rating of Nigeria’s airports in the past gave impetus to FAAN and the federal government to reposition airport facilities and the result of that effort has improved the rating of the nation’s airports.

He said the new airport terminal would epitomise modernity with the latest flight information display system, the latest electronic gadgets and facilities for easy movement of check-in passengers.

Dati said the airport is being built with the latest security protection system in recognition of the heightened security threat n the world, as terrorists target airport facilities with the aim to do maximum damage.

“When completed the new terminal in Lagos, will be able to process additional 15 million passengers which means we will able to service more than 22 million passengers. All these are things put together to raise aviation to a new level this year,” he said.


culled from:http://leadership.ng/business/519424/mmia-maintains-africas-5th-busiest-airport

Airbus Introduces New Aircraft Into Nigerian Market


Airbus Helicopters on Thursday introduced its H175 Helicopter into the Nigeria market.

The helicopter made its maiden flight demonstration at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the flight was witnessed by Mr Regis Magnac, Vice President and Head of Operational Marketing, Airbus Helicopters and a former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho.

Speaking at the ceremony, Magnac emphasised that Nigeria was a very important market to aircraft manufacturers.
He said that the H175 was designed to carry 18 passengers with two pilots or 16 passengers and two pilots, depending on its configuration.

Magnac said the aircraft, which cost over $10 million, was ideal for search and rescue operations, as well as oil and gas offshore support.

According to him, “apart from its huge fuel tank which makes it very economical, the aircraft is also designed with various modern safety features, in line with international aviation standards.

“In case of emergency landing, there are life rafts on both sides of the aircraft which can carry the pilots and all passengers on board,’’ Magnac added. (NAN)

Culled from; http://leadership.ng/business/520312/airbus-introduces-new-aircraft-nigerian-market

 

Honourable Minister of Transport,Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi to focus on safety, security to boost air travel in Nigeria

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has restated that his administration would focus on the safety and security of the country’s airspace, and that this has become necessary, as the nation cannot afford any mishap.

Speaking recently in Lagos, he said that, “safety and security is non negotiable”. He stated that achieving safety and security in the aviation industry is the key driver to growing the sub sector rapidly.”

Amaechi said that safety and security has become pertinent because of the myriad of security challenges globally, stating that the country is trying to be proactive to forestall such challenges.

According to him, “the aviation industry in Nigeria has not been without its peculiar problems in the recent past, which includes but not limited to weak airlines and decaying infrastructure”.
“The ministry of Transportation in collaboration with relevant parastatals and agencies have drawn up short term plans that are currently being implemented of which the traveling public will take notice of the improvements”, he added.

He said that adequate technology will be used to bolster the security at the nation’s airports and that it will also be complemented with customised training to personnel.
 
“Subsequently in accordance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Program (NCASP) and International Aviation Organization (ICAO) annex 17, the Federal Government is looking to overhaul and streamline the security apparatus at the nation’s airports for a seamless and more effective security surveillance and enforcement.”

“This will also improve facilitation and passenger experience. The use of appropriate technology and customized training for security personnel will play a major role in this process. The purpose of all these measures is to work smarter in achieving stated goals and targets. “

“With regards to the operators and service providers, they must operate within the ambit of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations and International Civil Aviation Organization Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) or face the full wrath of the law and extant regulations. This has become necessary, as we cannot afford any mishap. Ladies and gentlemen, safety and security is non-negotiable.”

“ These plans include the expeditious completion of on going airports remodeling projects at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt and the decongestion of airports access roads among several others. The new terminal in Lagos will generate additional 15 million passengers annually making a total of 30 million passengers yearly nationwide, the minister noted.

Speaking further, Amaechi said that the medium and long term plans will require significant investments to upgrade and expand infrastructures to meet current and future requirements.
He said: “As a result of limited resources for capital projects development, government is exploring the possibility of private sector participation to towards the realization of the industries’ potentials”.

 
Credits: aviation.gov.ng

Nigeria Aviation News

  • FG lifts ban on Kaduna-Abuja helicopter shuttle

    FG lifts ban on Kaduna-Abuja helicopter shuttle
    The Federal Government has lifted the ban on commercial helicopters shuttling between Abuja and Kaduna.

    Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser (NSA), had directed regulatory agencies not to allow commercial helicopters to use the Abuja airspace.

    He stated that only flights with permission from the presidency should be allowed.

    Monguno advised passengers using the Kaduna Airport, to travel either by road or rail.

    But on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Haidi Sirika, announced that the ban had been lifted.

  • Read in detail Aviation News from Nigeria

 

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