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NAHCO boss urges NCAA, FAAN to clear air side

NAHCO boss urges NCAA, FAAN to clear air side

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THE Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Aviance Plc has asked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to clear the air side of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos to avoid security disaster.

NaHCO Aviance Group Managing Director (GMD) Mrs Olatokunbo Fagbemi said if the overcrowding at the air side was not reduced, it could pose serious safety and security  threat to ground handling firms and others doing business at such critical parts of the airport.

In an interview with The Nation   in Lagos, Fagbemi said the regulatory and airport authorities should design some standard procedures and other initiatives that would reduce the number of persons, structures and equipment at the air side.

She said too many people and structures at the place could have negative impact on the safety and security of critical activities.

Fagbemi said the NCAA and FAAN should set up committees to address this obvious gap so as not to endanger the nation’s premier gateway.

She said ongoing safety and technical audits by international civil aviation regulatory bodies should factor this into their programme while carrying out assessments.

Fagbemi urged the regulators to  to create a conducive operating environment for airlines and ground handling firms without compromising safety.

On the price war and competition among ground handling firms, she said NCAA and FAAN have major roles to play in ensuring that the drive for improved market share does not expose the industry to unsafe practices.

She said the business of ground handling is becoming more competitive as global airlines are divesting from the business as part of efforts to maximise costs.

Citing the divestment of Lufthansa German Airlines  from NAHCO Aviance, Fagbemi said it was a corporate decision taken by the carrier since 2016.

She said it had nothing to do with competition or price war, as the carrier remains one of  its biggest clients in ground, passengers and ramp services.

The NAHCO Aviance boss said: “Lufthansa’s exit has nothing to do with NAHCO; rather, it has to do with Corporate decision in 2016. Lufthansa is still in some business with us, so it shows it wasn’t an issue with NAHCO.

“ There is no doubt that some customers have left NAHCO but others have also come into NAHCO, there are areas of competition we need to improve on.

“ We have to think about the issue of anti-trust. We have to ensure that we do not compete in such away that safety is not considered but the regulator should ensure that safety and security are not compromised.’’

She said the company will reenergise its system to ensure improved customer service in line with international standards.

“My top priority is very simple. It is to get everything right because when we get everything right for the customer and we deliver the right kind of service, then we get the right kind of income. Such income that can trickle down to profit and from the profit we will be able to pay the right kind of dividend,” Fagbemi said.

According to her, going forward, the company will enhance its processes to create an enviable place to work in, a company that  operates in line with international standards, and follows all the regulations and deliver greater stakeholder value.

“A lot of work has been done in the past, what I will do is build on what is there, work on the areas where there are gaps. My priority will be to close those gaps and ensure that we deliver services in a safe and secured manner,” Fagbemi said.

She said the company will invest in human capacity and technologies to ensure that the company continuously has the requisite people with the right knowledge and the right processes to deliver world-class services in line with International Civil Aviation Organization  and International Air Transport Association  standards.

“What we are going to do is put into our people the right kind of knowledge, the right kind of vision and passion that drives everybody to excel. Because even if we put in the best systems, we have the best facilities, we have the best equipment, if we don’t get the people right, it is going to be a waste,” Fagbemi said.




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