The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Saleh Dunoma, say that FAAN Training School, Lagos, has been accredited as a training centre for Airports Council International (ACI).

Dunoma, who is the President of ACI, said the accreditation was signed on Tuesday at the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly Conference and Exhibition in Port Louis, Mauritius.

A statement by Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, said the accreditation was in response to the recent upgrade of facilities at the training school.

While addressing the assembly, Dunoma said that said that ACI’s development programmes included training, technical assistance, capacity building and expertise development through access to ACI’s training and review products and services.

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He stated that air traffic demand in the African region for 2017 was improving.

According to him, a young population, growing labour force, accelerating adoption of new technology and urbanization are all factors that favour future economic growth, and subsequently aviation development, across Africa.

“However, we are also aware that Africa is a region that facing many challenges including political strife, security and safety concerns, lack of volume, protectionism, currency complications and sluggish growth in income levels in some key markets.

“Change is no stranger to the region’s outlook and state of the industry, and for this reason there could be no better place to explore this year’s theme of “Bold leadership in a time of change,” he said.

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Dunoma said that the Airport Excellence (APEX) programme initiated by ACI had helped many African airports to improve the application of ICAO standards, recommendation practices and international best practices.

He disclosed that out of the 14 APEX reviews that were scheduled for 2017, half of them were or would be in Africa.

According to Dunoma, since the beginning of our partnership with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the number of Safety reviews in Africa continues to grow.

“The Safety Assessors Training programme, an initiative that helps build expertise in the region, successfully achieved phase one, where 20 new assessors are now part of the APEX pool of experts.

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“In fact the first all African review team conducted an assessment in Bangui this July and we should expect many more to come.

“And, you will learn of ACI Africa’s new development programme for the region’s airports.

“The new initiative is designed to help and assist member airports to improve and respond to different challenges to achieve professional excellence in the application of international standards and best practices.

“The point is clear: the changes we face underline the need for our continued engagement in global and regional initiatives, alongside continued collaboration with aviation stakeholders,” he said.

ACI boss said the organisation would continue to support its members to achieve their developmental programmes.