Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello has expressed optimism that the face of aviation industry in Nigeria was taking a new look, stressing that the sector is growing and would be better in the near future.
She said that the Federal government would continue to invest in training of aviation workers, aimed at improving the industry. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the aviation correspondents’ course in Zaria, she emphasized the importance of training and re-training of aviation journalists.
Bello, who was represented by the Rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Capt. Adeyele Caulcrik said: “As an industry, we put great importance in the training and retraining of our personnel.
The Aviation Ministry has made it a priority; closing the gaps of training needs is our core goal, in order to improve the human capacity and professional development of the sector”.
She added: “At the core of the roadmap for the industry, as you are all aware, is training and retraining of aviation personnel to acquire required skills and capacity to drive the goals of the industry”. “In line with this objective also, is the fundamental premium placed on the training of other allied personnel and stakeholders, whose jobs and activities are crucial to the overall development of the aviation sector in the country,” Bello said.
However she disclosed that almost all the federal airports in the country had undergone a facelift through the remodeling. The airports include the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano International Airport; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as well as Yola and Benin airports which she said had been remodeled to meet international standard.
Furthermore, Bello noted that Nigeria’s response to air crashes and incidents had improved remarkably with the robust deployment of modern technology and advanced equipment in air accident investigation.
She said the achievements were made possible by the various agencies in the ministry. According to her: “The industry has seen unprecedented efforts by states governments to build state owned airports.
Air travelers are having the best of their time in our airports”. “Our appreciation for this effort goes to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN). The vigorous efforts of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have made our airspace one of the safest.
The agency has deployed state- of-the-art navigational equipment in its effort to maintaining this safest status. The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has been leading efforts in ensuring a rapid response to air disaster and timely conclusion of crash investigations”.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the watchdog of the industry, has just been recertified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its Category 1 status, Bello noted.
The permanent secretary also said NCAT for the past 50 years had made significant contributions to the development of manpower in the aviation sector in Nigeria and beyond.
She added that the college had continued to strengthen the capacity building in core areas such as introduction of Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL), helicopter training, Boeing 737 type training, training instructors course by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Train-Air Plus, as well as Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).
NCAT, which she described as the “foremost aviation training institute in the country” had trained for the aviation industry a wide range of professionals including pilots; air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance engineers, aeronautical telecommunication engineers among others.
Bello pointed that the college has been consistently upgrading its equipment and capacity in defending its enviable status as the aviation institute of excellence. “NCAT as the approved Aviation Training Institution of excellence in the country and the sub-region undertook the responsibility to develop a comprehensive training programme for our reporters in the aviation industry to improve their knowledge, and technical writing skills for better reportage of the activities in the industry to the public,” said Bello.