THE Joint Consultative and Negotiating Council (JCNC), a body of professionals in the country’s aviation sector has called for increase in domestic operations through one Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
This is just as the council also made case for federal government’s intervention in terms of provision of funds and access to credit and foreign exchange.
In a communique issued at the end of its three day conference in Abuja, President of the Council and the Council’s Secretary, Comrades Nnadi Hector and Abubakar Sadiq respectively, urged Nigerian airlines to adopt technology innovations that will ensure long term survival in a dynamic and a more competitive environment.
The conference noted among other things, the sharp drop in level of investment in the Aviation Sector, unavoidable shutting down of core Aviation businesses and allied business within and outside the airports, inability to fund personnel cost comprising salaries, allowances and other entitled emoluments and inevitable loss of jobs through declaration of redundancy and series of outright retrenchment across the board.
Also tackled at the conference was the adverse effects of the Pandemic on foreign exchange, emergence of inconvenient situations on passenger safety, comfort and security, inevitable/outright cancellation of major airline operations such as international flights, domestic flights, Hajj/Jerusalem airlifting of pilgrims.
The need for the creation of an inter-African Trade framework throughout the African continent under the Free Trade Agreements, as is the case in the European Union and North America was emphasized.
While calling for a level playing field for a healthy competition, the council stressed the need for balanced and equal slots in Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) and Open Skies Agreements and the adoption of co-sharing philosophy and understanding with Foreign Airlines;
Participants at the conference advised government to support the aviation sector in terms of funding, safety, certification, transparency and credit worthiness even as the need for collaboration by trade unions in the areas of training of capacity building, avoidance of industrial unrest and zero flight disruptions was emphasised.
Establishment of the National Council on Civil Aviation (NCCA) where experts, professionals and industry players and key stakeholders may assemble to rub minds, exchange views and take stock of emerging trends, challenges and dynamics in global Aviation business was also suggested.
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