For over two decades, the act that established the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has not had any major amendments and yet the entire aviation sector has undergone tremendous transformation as the role of aerodrome operators have witnessed an increase with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Standard and Recommended Practices (ICAO/SARP’s) amended for improved efficiency and effectiveness.
The need to bring the FAAN Act up to date with international best practices was adequately emphasized at the public hearing organized by the senate committee on aviation for the repeal and enactment of civil aviation bills of all the aviation agencies.
The need for an urgent amendment of the FAAN Act, according to key players led by the Senate Committee on aviation and stakeholders across the sector will go a long way in creating an enabling environment for the authority to function transparently, efficiently and effectively.
A memorandum already submitted at the public hearing by the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, stated the background information for the amendment of FAAN Act, CAP F5 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, to the Senate Committee on Aviation of the National Assembly.
The memorandum, according to the FAAN MD, provides reason for seeking the amendment of the various sections of the existing FAAN Act 2010.
The FAAN MD also wants it clearly stated in the amended Act who should issue building plan approval to avoid conflict with local, state and federal ministries as the authority presently oversees the construction of buildings on airport land.
FAAN in its submission also requested for the retention of power to carry firearms which the FAAN security personnel have in the FAAN’s current Act but was initially expunged.
The need for the FAAN security personnel according to stakeholders at the public hearing became inevitable in view of the many records of security breaches around the airports.
Most of the stakeholders who spoke at the public hearing agreed that in view of the enormous task ahead of FAAN that it urgently requires help to be able to live optimally.
The call for more government financial support for FAAN has been attributed to the additional pressure being mounted on it by some state governments asking FAAN to take over many of the state airports in addition to the federal government’s 23 airports under its management.
The pressure according to revelations from the Minister of Aviation that close to 10 new airports may be added as 10 state governments are set to build airports in their states between now and 2023.
The feelers are that some of the 10 state governments may equally push over the running of their airports to FAAN after discovering the enormous tasks of running them as state government enterprises.
Therefore, the key players after enumerating the huge funds required to maintain the airports and keep it in line with international standards and for the fact that majority of the existing airports are not generating expected revenues, urged the federal government to support FAAN for better and more effective performance.
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