Posts tagged as: airports

Africa: Ghana Drops VAT On Domestic Flights As 10 Investors Seek License

The Ghana Ministry of Aviation has received proposals from 10 foreign and local investors to operate in the country’s domestic airline industry.

The country’s Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, made this known at the opening of this year’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) Day in Accra, according to an online publication,

It is being organised by IATA, which is the trade association for the world’s airlines.

Participants include key stakeholders in the air travel industry from Africa.

The conference has the theme: ‘Aviation: catalyst for socio-economic development in Ghana’ and will discuss the impact of aviation on the economy, infrastructure development and safety in the industry.

Although Dapaah did not give details of the proposals received, she said the ministry was studying them and would announce the final decision in due course.

She stated that the government considered the development of the aviation sector a priority, for which reason a lot of investment had been made in infrastructural development at the various airports, aerodromes and airstrips across the country.

She added that all facilities at the airports were being modernised to meet international standards and to improve safety and the comfort of travelers.

To promote domestic air transport, Dapaah said the government had abolished the 17.5 per cent VAT on domestic airfares to encourage more patronage by the travelling public and also reduce the cost of operation of airlines.

Dapaah said as part of plans to establish a national airline, which would fly initially in the West African region, a transactional advisor had been working on finding a strategic investor to partner the government.

To improve the regulation and provision of air navigation services, she said a new entity was being established to take care of air navigation, while the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority concentrated on its core mandate of regulating the sector.

“This is intended to improve safety standards and also properly regulate the operations of the various actors in the industry,” she explained.

An IATA Regional Head in charge of membership and external relations in Africa and Middle East, Ms Adefunke Ademeyi, commended Ghana for transforming its aviation industry in recent years.

She named Ghana and Rwanda as one of the countries in Africa which were using aviation to promote their socio-economic transformation.

“The transformations in the airports in Ghana are visible and positive,” she stressed.

She urged African governments to open up their aviation markets in order to promote connectivity and facilitate easy travel on the continent.

For his part, the President of IATA, Mr. Raphael Kuuchi, said globally, the aviation industry contributed $2.7 trillion, which represents 3.5 per cent of the world’s GDP, and directly employed 9.9 million people.

Demand for air connectivity in the next 20 years, Mr Kuuchi said, was projected to double and that would take a tremendous amount of planning and coordination between airlines and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to achieve.

Nigeria: What Hope for Kaduna Airport After Abuja’s Upgrade?

On Wednesday, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport resumed operation, six weeks after it was shut down for the repair of its runway. Kaduna Airport was used as alternative while the repair lasted.

Industry sources put the cost of movement of flights to Kaduna, the preparation of the airport to serve as alternative, including associated projects and security at about N3.2 billion.

The Kaduna airport witnessed flurry of activities during the given period when most of the domestic airlines and few international carriers operated at the airport. The temporary designation of the airport as alternative to Abuja galvanised economic activities, creating inevitable market around the airport, as businesses yearned to meet miscellaneous demands of passengers, from eateries to other services.

But now that huge flight traffic has returned to the airport at the Federal Capital Territory, which has become beehive of activities since Wednesday as airlines, which battled with challenging logistics and initial low load factor and passengers that have to travel three hours from Abuja to Kaduna to board their flights, heaved a long sigh of relief.

To effectively serve as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was upgraded to Category 9 with improved fire cover, expanded and rehabilitated runway, improved instrument landing system and erection of the passenger terminal, which was literally abandoned when the airport remodeling progamme was terminated.

The Voice Ominidirectional Radio Range (VOR) at the airport was repaired in addition to the repair of other navigational aids, air traffic personnel were deployed and airspace services and weather reports improved. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was toying with security and perimeter fencing at the height of the period the airport served its purpose.

Before it served as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was receiving about two commercial flights a day, so it was never a busy airport and that explained why there was no hurry to rebuild its terminal as the hajj terminal was put in use for the lean number of passengers that travel through the airport.

However, now that the airport facilities have been upgraded, THISDAY learnt that Arik Air, Medview and Air Peace may operate to the airport. Arik had been operating to the airport in the past.

Industry observers while acknowledging the upgrade of facilities at the airport lamented that they would become underutilised now that traffic has moved back to Abuja.

“From the road reconstruction to the deployment of security operatives, the Kaduna airport projects must have cost over N3.2 billion. They spent billion because all the vehicles from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa were escorted by security operatives in their pick-up vans. So you can estimate how much that cost the federal government. When I travelled from Abuja to Kaduna to board flight to Lagos we were escorted by two policemen in Hilux van until we arrived. All the vehicles that left were escorted. They would put road safety (Federal Road Safety Corp) at the back; they would put police escort in front. The money spent on these activities is crazy,” an inside source told THISDAY.

THISDAY learnt that beyond serving as alternative to Abuja airport, there had been plans to upgrade the airport and make it a very active airport, operating international flights and also given it a prime place by government. To this end, there are indications that government will ensure that an international flight operates to the airport beyond Hajj flights, which operates at least twice every year.

THISDAY authoritatively learnt that the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai had written to the management of Ethiopia Airlines to continue its operation to Kaduna after it served as alternative to Abuja, promising to give it all the support it needs. Although Ethiopia Airlines has not replied the state government but it may give that request a serious consideration because of the good relationship between Nigeria and the airline. Indications show that although the state government made that request to the airline, it is tacitly supported by the federal government and the aviation agencies.

“It has been part of the whole scheme when government announced that Kaduna would serve as alternative airport to Abuja while the runway in the later undergoes repairs. It was a scheme orchestrated to upgrade facilities at the airport, but what was done is not bad. We hope that government should show similar commitment to the upgrade of other airports. In case of emergency, Kaduna is the closest airport to Abuja, so a flight under distress after taking from Abuja has an alternative airport to land in. This is why we advised to ensure that all busy airports have airfield lighting and can operate in the night in case of emergency,” a source remarked to THISDAY.

But this is the reality check. Ethiopia Airlines said that it would designate the latest aircraft to come out of Airbus, Airbus A350 to Abuja airport. It landed at Abuja airport with 265 passengers onboard on Tuesday afternoon, a day before the reopening of the airport. The aircraft has about 343 passenger capacity. Ethiopia Airlines operates Boeing B777 to Lagos with about 350-400 passenger capacity; it also operates to Kano with Boeing B737-800 with about 140 passenger capacity; it operates to Enugu with Boeing 737-800 with similar 140 passenger capacity, so where will the passenger for Kaduna airport come from, considering the airports proximity to Kano and Abuja?

But besides this reality, which seems to stymie the plan to have Ethiopia Airlines or any international operation beyond Hajj services in Kaduna, the Kaduna airport has all the necessary facilities to function as international airport. It has the largest remote parking space among the Nigerian airports. Now it has the most upgraded landing aids and runway. Government should not allow these facilities to be idle, so it should tinker ways to make the airport more functional. Allowing it to be underutilised will not justify the huge resources spent on its upgrade.

Nigeria: Flights Resume Today at Abuja Airport

Photo: Premium Times

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

By Chris Agabi Abuja & Abdullateef Aliyu

Lagos — Airlines will resume operations today, one day ahead of the deadline, after completion of repair works on the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

Information from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) stated this yesterday.

It said an Ethiopian Airline flight will be the first to land at the newly renovated runway by 11:00am today.

It would be recalled that the second busiest airport had been closed down for six weeks, from March 8, while the Abuja-bound traffic was diverted to Kaduna International Airport.

The Federal Government had promised that the airport would reopen on Wednesday even as the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, put his job on the line, promising to resign if the rehabilitation of the runway was not completed in six weeks.

More on This

Abuja Airport Ready for Flights – Officials

Work on Abuja Airport Runway ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Nigeria’s Abuja Airport Ready and Raring to Go?

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Managing Director, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, had said the repair work was completed while the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had inspected it and certified the airport.Airlines, also commended the Federal Government for fulfilling the promise to reopen the airport tomorrow, saying they would resume flights in and out of the airport.An operator said, “We are happy that the Federal Government kept to its promise and in due course, we will also resume Abuja flights.”It was learnt that the closure of the airport led to reduction in passenger movement due to what some people called the inconvenience of going to Kaduna.Checks at the domestic wing of the airport showed that it was not busy despite the Easter holiday. “This is early morning and can you notice any rush”, a passenger told Daily Trust at the MMA 2 yesterday.Spokesman for Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, also said the airline would resume Abuja flights tomorrow, and commended air travellers for keeping faith with the airline and making a huge sacrifice to ensure repair of the bad portions of the runway of the Abuja airport.The airline also praised the Federal Government and the Minister of State for Aviation for ensuring speedy completion of the repair work on the runway.”We considered the decision of the Federal Government to shut down the airport for quick repair of its runway in tandem with the high safety standards of our flight operations. At Air Peace, the safety of our esteemed guests is our first rule of business. We do not compromise on that for any reason.”Meanwhile, Aviation Roundtable (ART) President, Elder Gabriel Olowo and another aviation expert, Capt. Ibrahim Yinusa Kazaure, have urged the government to sustain the same purposeful actions to turn around the sector towards delivering one per cent of GDP by 2020.Olowo said, “We in ART salute the minister of aviation and his agencies for living true to the promise to deliver Abuja runway on schedule as we count down to April 19.”It is our prayer that such purposeful actions are sustained in the sector as we demand that aviation delivers one per cent of Nigeria’s GDP by 2020 as against the present meagre 0.4 per cent. We demand for measurable growth on the airline side and the Airports.”More on ThisWork on Abuja Airport Runway ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Managing director and chief executive officer of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Engr. Saleh Dunoma, has… Read more »

Nigeria: No Earthquake At Lagos Airport – Minister

Photo: The Guardian

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

By Lawani Mikairu

Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika yesterday explained that the vibrations experienced at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, two days ago, was not a structural issue but as a result of the unlatched doors where the coolers that have just been put into use are housed.

According to Mrs Henrieta Yakubu, Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, the Minister who flew in from Abuja late yesterday evening over the allegations that there were massive vibrations that has affected the structural integrity of the airport, described the rumours as erroneous and misleading explaining that the doors were not well-latched and the vibrations happening were directly under the office of the Royal Air Maroc and that led to the wrong assumption that something was wrong.

“Well first and foremost it is wrong and erroneous that the structure of the Murtala Muhammed Airport is failing and there was earthquake as reported by some sections of the media, it is not so what happened is that there was vibrations at the air handling room of the cooling system, this door is a huge metal door that needs to be locked properly it was locked but it wasn’t latched properly, the latches were not in place and that gave rise to the vibration because there were moving parts.

“There are motors and fans and other things that are activated and they function through motion to create the necessary cooling system.”

That door responded to the vibration and because it wasn’t latched, it was vibrating and that vibration was directly under the counter of Royal Air Maroc and they assumed the structure was vibrating to the point of collapse.”

“Once our men were alerted, they went promptly, identified the problem which was the door, and latched the door and since then there has been quiet, so it’s not true,” Sirika said

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Africa: African Airports Grapple With Financing Gaps

By Moses Gahigi

Aviation experts say the involvement of governments in airports has locked out funding for key projects.

Marcel Langeslag, from aviation consulting group Naco, told the Africa Aviation summit in Kigali that several airports in Africa are government-owned, and because “not all governments have the capacity and resources to run and, improve airports, they should be autonomous.”

Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda unveiled airport projects worth $9.9 billion at a recent Global African Investment Summit held in Kigali.

Tanzania plans to upgrade the Arusha airport to handle large cargo and passenger planes at a cost of $40 million.

However, it lacks the required funding.

The country is also looking for $125 million to rehabilitate Lindi Airport in the southwest, and needs $30 million for the rehabilitation and upgrade of Lake Manyara Airport in Serengeti National Park.

“Some investors want to undertake airport projects in Africa, but they are stopped by governments,” said Lieve Noppen, the COO of Noppen Group, an airports consultancy.

Travel patterns

A recent report by ForwardKeys, a company that predicts travel patterns and records bookings, indicates that, in 2016, Ethiopia’s travel sector has grown by 9.6 per cent, and Tanzania by 10.6 per cent. The report shows that Mauritius grew by 11.6 per cent. Kenya went up by 14.9 per cent. The East African region registered a 11.4 per cent growth.

But, while the traffic numbers look good, governments are still cash strapped to expand or even build new airports to match increased traffic.

Last year Kenya abandoned plans to build a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport due to financial pressures.

The $650 million terminal project was expected to handle 20 million passengers a year.

Despite the financial challenges, the $100 million Tamale airport upgrade project in Ghana is close to completion.

No revenue control

Regional aviation authority officials attributed the failure to get financing to airports to not having control over the revenues they collect.”Airports are making money, but most of it is spent on other things. For instance, in Tanzania, airport revenues are collected by the revenue authority and taken straight to the Treasury. The airport gets back a little from what it collects,” said Redemptus Peter Bugomola, director of safety regulation at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.


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Nigeria: Govt to Replicate Kaduna Airport Facilities in 11 Others

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Federal Government has said it will replicate facilities at Kaduna International Airport in 11 other airports across the country.

Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, announced this yesterday during the inspection tour of Kaduna International Airport by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, led by its Chairman, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

Dunoma said facilities such as approach lighting and the configuration of the power system on the runway at Kaduna Airport would be replicated in other Federal Government-owned airports in the country.

He said: “What we have done here is already being replicated in other airports, but we have done something better than this in Enugu and we are going to continue.”

Explaining to the committee on functionality of the facilities, the MD of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Engr. Fola Akinkiotu, said the airports authorities would upgrade facilities at 11 airports.


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Nigeria: Airport Closure – Presidency Okays Landing of Helicopters in Abuja

By Levinus Nwabughiogu and Favour Nnabugwu

Respite has come the way of air travellers to Abuja as the Presidency, yesterday, approved the landing of helicopters in Abuja.

The approval came barely 24 hours after the Office of National Security Adviser, ONSA, imposed a restriction on helicopters flying across the city for security reasons.

This is even as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said no fewer than 16,000 passengers have so far travelled through Kaduna International Airport within the first five days of its replacing Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Similarly, banks have commenced installations of Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, as airline operators have been issued POS Fresh, a week after the closure of the airport in Abuja.

Landing of helicopters in Abuja

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who disclosed these in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of yesterday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said talks were still ongoing at press time about the spot the helicopters would land, in view of the fact that there were ‘no-fly’ zones in the metropolis.

FG continues talks with foreign airlines

On foreign airlines refusing to land in Abuja, the minister said: “We are still talking to other airlines to see reason and begin to come because they see that it’s possible, doable, safe and I think within the next couple of days, we shall conclude and if it is possible we shall announce to Nigerians that there will be flights from Kaduna to London and back.”

16,000 passengers fly through Kaduna airport

Meanwhile, FAAN has said no fewer than 16,000 passengers were transported through the Kaduna International Airport within the first five days of its replacing the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, NAIA.

Ibrahim Bwala, Head, Corporate Affairs of FAAN at the Kaduna International Airport, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, yesterday, in Kaduna.

Bwala said the airport successfully recorded 352 aircraft that landed and departed from domestic and international terminals within the period.

Banks begin installations of ATMs

Also, banks have commenced installations of ATMs, as airline operators have been issued PoS Fresh, a week after the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Investigations by Vanguard revealed that United Bank for Africa, UBA, has installed its ATM at the airport, even as airline operators at the airport have been issued functional Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for passengers with credit cards.

Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Mrs Henrientta Yakubu, said, yesterday, that Zenith, Guaranty Trust Bank, FirstBank and others were due to begin operations and open ATM facilities this week.

Nigeria: Shake-Up in NCAA As FG Sacks 10 Directors

By Abdullateef Aliyu

Lagos — A major shake-up has consumed all the 10 Directors of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Transport, on Friday approved their sack with immediate effect.

Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika communicated the FG’s decision to those affected, thus leaving the regulatory authority with only its Director General, Capt. Mukhtar Usman.

This is part of the ongoing restructuring of the aviation sector which the Minister recently hinted would continue to attain efficiency in the sector.

The purge is coming about three months after similar exercise consumed Directors of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The directors affected by the sack in NCAA are Alhaji Salawu Ozigi (Director of Finance and Accounts), Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards), Barr. Aba Ejembi (Director of Administration), Mr. Emmanuel Ogunbami (Director of Licensing), Capt. Sidi Abdullahi (Director of Operations and Training).

Others are Engr. Benedict Adeyileka (Director of Airworthiness Standards), Mr. Justus Wariya (Director of Air Transport Regulation), Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi (Director of Consumer Protection), Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon (Director of General Aviation and Mr. Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi (Director of Human Resources).

The affected directors have been directed to immediately hand over to the next-in-command in their various directorates who will, in the interim, superintend over affairs in their directorates.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye confirmed the development, but did not give further details.

“It is true that all the directors have been disengaged, but I don’t have details of their disengagement,” he said.


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South Africa: Airports Company Ranked Among Ten Most Punctual in the World

Pretoria — Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has congratulated the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) for having being ranked among the ten most punctual airports in the world.

“ACSA’s achievement, amongst others, is attributed to its world class state of the art Airport Management Centre (AMC) which is the nerve centre of the airports operations. The AMC facilitates a seamless coordination between airlines, baggage handlers, security staff, customer service staff, aircraft engineers and marshals,” said Minister Peters on Saturday.

The list was revealed by the OAG Aviation Worldwide, a UK-based agency which monitors on-time- performance (OTP) among airlines and airports globally.

OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park achieved eighth place in the large airports category while Cape Town International Airport ranked sixth in the medium airports category. King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal was ranked tenth in the small airports category.

OAG Aviation Worldwide, tracks a minimum of 80% of the flights that operate at an airport for it to be included in the Punctuality League. According to the League, the top 20 airports in the large airport category ensured that 83.9% arriving and departing flights operated under 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival and departure times last year.

Minister Peters said that ACSA’s achievement follows its continuous growth in its aeronautical income derived from regulated tariffs as well as for its non-aeronautical revenue.

The Minister thanked the management and staff of ACSA who worked to make sure that services and ACSA performance is recognised globally.

South Africa

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Potential Revenue Stream Overlooked at JKIA

By Maryanne Gicobi

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport could increase its revenue from cargo transport if it builds a holding facility to facilitate export of live domestic animals.

According to Sanjeev Gadhia, chief executive at regional logistics firm Astral Aviation, countries like Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have a huge demand for live animals from East Africa, but the region cannot meet it due to lack of a quarantine facility at JKIA.

“We have a number of clients asking for live animals, either to fatten them and slaughter them later, or those already slaughtered under strict Islamic regulations of halaal,” Mr Gadhia told The EastAfrican.

According to the Export Promotion Council, East Africa has one of the fastest growing livestock sectors in Africa and has a sizeable export trade of live goats, camels and cows to the Middle East by sea.

It is, however, faster and safer to transport live animals by air considering a journey by sea takes between seven and 12 days, depending on the weather and conditions at sea.

Kenya also exports live animals to Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia and Zambia, mainly for breeding purposes. Exports to the Middle East are normally for slaughter with the peak season being during religious ceremonies and the annual Haj.

Mr Gadhia further said the airport is currently operating at 25 per cent capacity, handling 250,000 tonnes of cargo.

He noted that perishable goods exports, mainly horticultural products, had been rising steadily over the years by eight per cent annually, whereas exports by sea had been dropping.

Vegetable exports

Official data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that vegetable exports stood at Ksh19.6 billion ($189 million) up from Ksh16.7 billion ($161 million) in the previous year.

JKIA serves 25 cargo airlines, making it one of the cargo hubs of Africa.

According to the Kenya Airports Authority, JKIA can accommodate eight wide bodied aircraft at any one time and has five sheds equipped with cold rooms for goods in transit.

The airport does have an animal holding station for pets such as dogs and cats, where they are kept for feeding, cleaning and receiving medical tests being flown out of or allowed into the country.


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