August 5, (Tour Telegraph) — The Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN) has urged the industry regulator, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to put necessary regulations and policies in place that will lead to new ground handling rates.
Additionally, the association is offering to work with the NCAA to develop a safety threshold handling rate moving forward.
Mr. Olaniyi Adigun, the President, AGHAN, in his recent presentation: “Ground Handling In Nigeria: Management, Policy And Regulation,” regretted that the formation of the two leading ground handling companies in the country, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc was not for profit-making by their founding fathers, a situation, which he said had negatively affected the sub-sector after privatization.
According to him, the association was willing to work with the NCAA to develop operating standards, safety, and security standards, and minimum safety threshold handling rates within the sector, foster a conducive environment that is attractive to investors and promote healthy competition among the players without compromising safety, security and the nation’s economic interests.
He further explained: ”Any rates below the established safety threshold ground handling rates has the tendency to jeopardise safety and security and loss of revenue to the Federal Government through the 5 per cent concessionary fees pay by the handling companies to the government.
“To achieve the aims enumerated above, it is our strong believe that if both the Federal Government (NCAA) and the various stakeholders come together to put necessary regulations and policies including setting up of a minimum safety threshold handling rates in place, the ground handling sector will experience a rebirth.
“This will increase government revenue and create stability in terms of safety and security within the sector and the industry at large. This can effectively work out if the extant Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) Act is amended to further empower the NCAA to properly regulate the industry like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
Besides, he appealed to the National Assembly to expedite action in the passage of the NCAR presently before it, marinating that this would further improve the Nigerian aviation industry and bring it at par with its counterparts in developed nations.
“An improved aviation industry is a plus to the ground handling sub-sector,” he said.
Recent reports claimed that the handling fees by ground handling companies in Nigeria remained the lowest on the continent and oscillated between $1,000 and $400 for narrow body aircraft, while a handling of a wide body aircraft goes as low as $3,000 for passenger flight.