Air transport in Africa will only grow if undue limitations and travel restrictions are tackled with the proposed Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and unified African passport accepted in truth and implemented fairly.
This is just as a consultant has advocated the development of a comprehensive Agro air logistics policy to encourage investors in the Agro logistics business.
These were sentiments of participants at the 2019Airport Business Summit Expo (ABSE), held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos.
Chairman organising committee, Mr Fortune Idu who spoke while delivering his address, noted that the proposed Single African Air Transport Market SAATM and unified African passport remained good regional initiatives to begin solving the problems associated with Africa’s transport.
He said, the envisaged increase in Africa Air Transport has increased in passenger traffic growth rate of 9.9% between 2017 and 2018 as against 6.3 % between 2016 and 2017 stressing that it has been projected that by 2035 it will rise to 4.3% annually while more people were expected to travel in and out of Africa significantly.
Currently, Mr Idu disclosed that the continent has 731 airports with 419 airlines with the aviation sector supporting 7 million jobs and generating US$80 billion in economic activities.
He opined that more needed to be done with the airport economies of the region being steered towards the right direction to catalyse the growth of the industry through accountable and providing incentives to support airline growth.
He called on for the consolidation of the air transport services in order to build a strong base for the industry since airport has all options on aeronautic and vast non aeronautic revenue.
Idu urged stakeholders to not to relent in attending the conference stressing that it was the first edition of the summit in Lagos.
He noted that the first five editions were staged in Abuja with encouraging turn out but hoped that with the movement of the summit to Lagos that it will attract more participants
In his presentation, ‘Airport Economies: Consolidation of Air Transport Services’ aviation consultant, Mr. Tayo Ojuri said the opportunities that exist in the agro air business logistics were not being harnessed by players in the industry.
He observed that cargo Airports were not developed with the intent to provide cargo services and called for the requisite infrastructure to attract investors and most especially the farmers in the agro commodities to grow the industry.
According to him, awareness creation was important for prospective investors especially the farmers to know the benefits derivable from the business.
Ojuri stated that “Agro based commodities from urban areas where their full utility can be realized is important because of the peculiarities of agro commodities that are sometimes bulky or perishable”.
“Agro based commodities serve as the base of the Nigerian economy”, he added