The managing director of Bi Courtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL; operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, MMA2, Lagos, Mr. Christophe Penninck, has decried the county’s poor airport infrastructure and weak airlines.
Penninck who stated this while presenting a paper titled, “Airports of the Future: The Model For Nigeria” at the Nigeria Travel Mart, NTM, 1st Anniversary Colloquium with the theme, “Leapfrogging Nigerian Aviation To Match Her Potential” ‎observed that there were many challenges facing the Nigerian aviation industry.
Penninck said poor aviation infrastructure and lack of strong airline that can compete with its foreign counterparts have stagnated the growth of the industry.
He listed other factors militating against the growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria to include lack of constant electricity, numerous legal issues tampering with development, high taxes on importation of equipment and spares and unavailability of foreign currency.
According to him, there are too many airport ‘authorities’ regulating activities at airports, too many airports; most of which are not viable, poor road infrastructure, cargo.
He maintained that it was too early for the government to approve multiple gateways for foreign airlines.
The Chief Executive Officer of Bi-Courtney stated that of all the 22 airports in the country only Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airport are profitable.
He said that decision must be taken on other airports either to close them or subsidise them.
He added that if closed the airports could be handed over to state for socio-economic reasons or closed completely‎.
He emphasised that if subsidised, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, could be divided into three Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt Kano is too small to sustain.
FAAN, he posited should become Federal Airports of Nigeria, FAN or Federal Airports Company of Nigeria, FACN and not an authority anymore as is presently constituted.
Explaining why FAAN should be privatised, the BASL boss stated that the agency cannot put up good performance, not transparent with their revenue, tenders and hiring processes.
Penninck pointed out that FAAN cannot prioritise on the essentials such as: maintenance of current terminals, securing power/electricity, runway upgrades and that there is no drive to seek for new airlines or support stakeholders.
On the benefits of privatising FAAN, he said it would lead to improvements in infrastructure, better relationship with stakeholders in the industry, dividend to the federal government and state depending on the model.
He listed the other benefits that would accrue on privatisation of FAAN as improved image for Nigeria, platform for airlines to grow and be profitable and increased efficiency.

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