Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has received international certification for Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika while receiving the certification of FAAN and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) in Abuja on Tuesday, said both certificates were huge achievements toward security and safety in the aviation sector.
He said that Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was the first international Airport in Nigeria to meet the requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and NCAA regulations.
“This is indeed a huge achievement as far as we are concerned, Mr President had told us to secure this country and manage it, therefore, inline with his vision we align in building institutions and getting them to work well.
“Because once that is achieved it means that we are managing the country well, strong institutions will definitely begets strong nation.
The country had tried time and again to certify our airports in the past.
“It is a global requirements by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) convention and Aerodrome requires that airports must be standardised.
“Under different ownership, under different cultures and climates, under different conditions all over the world and they must be standardise and they must reflect certain minimum standard of safety and security.
“This made it very paramount to ensure that our airports are certified.
“We promised the nation that we will get these airports certified, today by the grace of God we have achieved that milestone,” he said.
According to him, they are beginning to certify the airports with the Murtala Muhammed International Airport been the first to be certified by NCAA through ICAO standards.
He said this certification borders on safety which is a huge achievement in making sure that the nation institutions are strong, dynamic, focused and sensitive.
Sirika, however, commended the Ministry of Transportation for making the certification achievable and possible, stating that they hope to get certification for Nnamdi Nzikiwe airport before the end of the year.
He said they would ensure that both international and domestic airports get certified which would increase the value, the insurance would be low, charges and ticket would be lower as a result of the certification.
The Minister of State noted that the world will be at peace to know that Nigeria aviation is secured with flight operation being safe and secured within and outside the country.
He said that Mr President and the National Council had approved the concessioning of four major airports in the country which are Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.
Sirika further said that Nigeria will host the International Civil Aviation Organisation World Aviation Forum taking place on the Nov. 20 to Nov. 22 in Abuja, which is the first time the forum will be held outside Canada.
Speaking earlier, Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma said FAAN has successfully completed the Aerodrome certification process of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
He said that the Aerodrome certification is an international requirement with the primary objective to ensure that all international Airports meets international safety standards.
“Aerodrome certification means ensuring the standardisation and harmonisation of airport service, facilities and procedures, as well as ensuring uniformity in safety.”
He said that the drive toward certification of Nigeria airports was yielding positive result as Nigeria was implementing one of the critical safety targets.
He said that Nigeria started the process of certification 11 years ago but due to several reasons they were unable to certify the airports until now.
According to him, with the certification of the Murtala Muhammad Airport, they will concentrate on the Nmandi Nzikiwe international Airport in Abuja, then to other airport.
He said FAAN was committed in the drive to get the aerodrome certification for all the airports in Nigeria.
Dunoma said that the certification would be renewed after three years, which will be year 2020.
Director for Western and Central Africa, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
Mr Sani Marshi, the Director-General of NiMet presented the International Standard Organisation (ISO) 2015 certification to the minister.
He said that NiMet was the first in the continent to have been given the international certification in compliance with international best practices.
He said that this is a huge achievement in the Nigerian aviation sector as Nigeria would become an example to other African countries.
Mr Mam Sait Jallow, ICAO Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said that both certifications are two key standards related to safety as most of the aircraft accidents are due to issued related to runway safety and also weather conditions.
“These are really key achievements which we wanted to witness and we won’t stop here because we are still in house and we have to climb on the roofs to publish what we have done.
“ Technically, we have just concluded phase four and as far as certification is concerned, we now need to publish aeronautical information to the world for them to know that the Murtala Mohammed Airport is now certified likewise NiMet,” Jallow said.