Stakeholders at the multiple challenges currently confronting the Nigeria aviation sector, have agreed that a paradigm shift in vision, policies and realignment of its economic value chains is needed as quickly as possible to save it further decline.
They decried the foreign exchange liquidity crisis the country is grappling with and its effects on the dollar-denominated aviation sector, the attendant rising costs of fuel and operations, and one-too-many limiting factors of both airports’ and aircraft utilisation.
Whilst they acknowledged challenges facing global and the Nigeria economies, the experts however pointed out its cascading effects on the country’s local aviation industry, as currently felt in airport infrastructure, airlines’ operations, as well as the hard-on effects on the travelling public signposting a bleak future for the sector.
The stakeholders, who were drawn from the regulatory agencies, service providers, operators, ground handling companies, aviation enthusiasts, spoke at a one day industry forum in Lagos with the theme: ‘Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications’.
A communiqué by the organisers noted that the participants pointed that “more than ever before, the industry urgently needs a clearer vision and bold leadership that will think outside the box to rescue it from impending implosion.”
The said “the way for recalibration is to redirect policies to see aviation as a basic essential service industry to the general public, rather the pastime of the elites. That is, to have the aviation industry properly tied to the economy, and treat its limiters as national economic emergencies.”
The stakeholders called for better collaboration among policymakers, regulators, service providers and operators, to work out viable and sustainable aviation development programmes that properly incorporate aviation financing with its safety and security elements.