COVID-19 outbreak exposes underbelly of Nigeria’s aviation sector – NCAA DG

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Director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu has said that the outbreak of the coronavirus scourge exposed the problems in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Nuhu made the remark in his address at a one-day virtual conference organised by NCAA in conjunction with the Aviation Strategies International (ASI) Institute and Egis.

The theme of the conference was ‘Global Megatrends and Impact on Aviation Workshop.’

Nuhu said the Nigerian aviation industry was faced with the challenges of pre-Covid-19 era adding that the pandemic had called for the need to urgently accelerate growth in the industry and put in place the required changes.

The director general further disclosed that unlike some civil aviation authorities in Africa, NCAA does not receive subvention from the federal government.

He said 80 per cent of its revenues are from the ticket sales charge.

“We can’t go back to the way the aviation industry was being run before the advent of Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has given us the opportunity to reset the sector,” he added.

He said it had imperative for players in the industry to develop strategies that would lead to development.

Nuhu noted that technology is an ongoing issue, which he said many airlines had keyed to but stated that such changes would be a bit difficult for the agencies because of regulations.

In his paper entitled ‘Global megatrends in aviation’, the president of ASI, Mr. Pierre Coutu, said that the aviation industry faces one of the toughest periods in the world because of the pandemic.

Coutu stated that players in the sector needed to bring out the businesses in the industry to be ready for the future and called on the stakeholders to develop some areas to ensure compliance with global practices.

He listed climate change, global economic power shift, demographic changes, new technology and global connectedness as some of the current global megatrends that may define the future of the industry.

“There are more networks and communications, which seek to connect the world than in the past. This leads to things happening so fast in the world. According to IBM 2016 Study, 90 per cent of data in the world had been created in the previous two years alone.

“Scientists say frequencies of pandemic might increase in the future. Covid-19 pandemic was not the first pandemic ever. Aviation organisations need to plan to reduce such impacts in the sector in the future,” he said.

For the sector to succeed another pandemic, Coutu canvassed for scenario planning, adoption of future-wise strategic management, competency-based human capital, data analysis, risk analysis, partnership-based organisation and agile organisation culture.

In the present dispensation, he said no organisation can go it alone without the supports of the others. 

In his paper, ‘Planning for a turbulent future’ the president of Ottawa-based aviation company Relations Solutions International, Mr. Jean-Marc Trottier, said climate change would affect the African aviation industry.

Trottier, explained that the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic would make investors and lenders to view aviation investments through a different lens.

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