The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has commenced the implementation of the Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Plan Aerodrome Certification Project for Abuja and Lagos airports.
Speaking during a pre-certification briefing at the NCAA headquarters in Lagos today, the team leader and regional director of ICAO/Western and Central African (WACAF), Mam Sait Jallow, said the objective of the mission “is to follow-up on the AFI Plan Certification project and assist Nigeria with technical guidance towards the certification process.”
Jallow, who was accompanied by the regional officer, Nika Manzi, said two airports were selected from Nigeria for AFI Plan aerodrome certification project while one airport was selected from other states in the AFI Region.
The two airports are the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He explained that the two airports were chosen due to the volume of traffic in Nigeria saying Nigeria has the largest passenger traffic on the African continent.
Jallow said ICAO WACAF meets twice a year and their next meeting is scheduled for May 2017.
He said all hands must be on deck to achieve a successful certification and present the report during the meeting.
The AFI Plan was adopted by the 36th ICAO Assembly to address the safety status of aircraft operations in the AFI Region.
The plan is meant to address three focal areas: to establish and maintain a sustainable oversight system (infrastructure/capacity building); assist states to resolve identified deficiencies within reasonable time; and to enhance aviation safety culture of African aviation service providers.
The ICAO WACAF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NCAA and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as participants in the ICAO AFI Plan Project in Dakar, Senegal on August 11, 2016.
Earlier, the director general of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, affirmed that the project is crucial to global aviation as regards safety and security of the airport environment.
He said the aerodrome certification is in line with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
He said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) and all the necessary instrumentation for the process are already in place.
He further stated aerodrome certification process in Nigeria is carried out in five phases.
Currently, he said the ongoing certification of the Lagos and Abuja airports had reached phases three and two respectively.
Usman added that the authority had trained technical personnel who are very competent to handle the challenges that may be encountered during the certification exercise.
The director general expressed profound appreciation to the ICAO WACAF team for the effort in providing additional momentum to the aerodrome certification. He assured the team that Nigeria will meet up with the certification requirements within the stipulated time.