The House of Representatives has approved a bill seeking to create a special welfare package for people living around airports across Nigeria due to the environmental impact of the flights on their lives.
Among other things, the Federal Airport Authority Act Amendment Bill 2021, which the House has passed for second reading, seeks to compensate residents around airports for what they suffer from the noise pollution and emission of the aircraft.
It was titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Airports Authority Act, Cap. F5, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to empower the authority to recognise the environmental challenges facing all the communities around nigerian airports and therefore engage and involve the communities in their development plans; and for related matters’.
Sponsor of the bill, Mr Ganiyu Johnson, in the lead debate, a copy of which our correspondent obtained on Thursday, noted that the proposal was to empower the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria to recognise the ‘environmental hazard facing the inhabitants of the Nigerian communities around the Nigerian airports due to the noise pollution, air pollution, waste and congestion occasioned by day to day air operation in the airport around their various communities’.
Johnson, who is representing Oshodi/Isolo II Federal Constituency in Lagos State, also noted that noise and emission had always been the major environmental issue in the field of aviation, which was primarily impacting residential communities close to airports.
Quoting the World Health Organisation, the lawmaker said it can cause several health-related problems both in the short and long-term such as community annoyance, sleep deprivation, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, heart disease and mental health issues.
“Even though aircraft are becoming less noisy due to important technological improvements, the expected long-term increase in the number of flights – even after the COVID-19 pandemic – means that more effort from all stakeholders to reduce noise and emission in the airport’s surrounding areas will be crucial,” he added.