Participants at the 2017 AfBAA/NBAC Conference in Lagos recently

Business Aviation operators in Nigeria have been saddled with the responsibility of establishing their own association to be christened "Nigerian Business Aviation Association" following decisions reached at the 2017 African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) Regional Symposium cum Nigerian Business Aviation Conference held in Lagos recently.

Participants at the conference, which held at the Eko Hotel & Towers in Lagos, Nigeria, agreed that there needs to be increased unity and synergy amongst business aviation services operators which would enable them to collectively look inwards towards solving the many issues facing the sector in the face of a dwindling economy.

Conference facilitator, Mr. Nick Fadugba called on all business aviation operators in Nigeria to come together and form a strong association that would enable them to speak with the government with one voice when demanding for their rights as this already exists for commercial scheduled airline operators. He explains that if the NBAA is formed, it can work with AfBAA and enable AfBAA to spread its tentacles further in Africa.

Although, some business aviation operators feel that the AON (Airline Operators of Nigeria) already has a strong voice in the industry and business operators can be encouraged to join the association, however, another school of thought believes that the AON can adequately cater to the needs of business aviation operators, hence, the need to set up their own association.

Doing Business in Recession

The Chairman of ANAP Business Jets, Mr. Atedo Peterside observes that the best time to set up any business is during a recession, adding that the recession has helped airlines to pick the best of professionals. In addition, there's moderation and discipline which helps you control your costs. He notes, however, that the recession has taken a huge toll on business aviation operations.

Mr. Peterside tasks the government to embrace modern trends and urges businessmen to patronize business jet operators rather than own their own jets, as owning your own jet aircraft exposes you to great risks and sundry charges.

He wants Government to assist by making the airports safe as it costs a lot to repair damages caused to aircraft as a result of dilapidated runways, adding that business aviation operators should compete and cooperate. Furthermore, Mr. Peterside opines that it is cheaper to take an aircraft out for maintenance than to do it locally, this, he says is due to the high taxes on spares coming into the country. He says he looks forward to a regime where spare parts can come into the country without any charges.

In the same vein, aviation technocrat, Dr. Harold Demuren posits that Government needs to create an enabling environment for business aviation to survive.  Furthermore, the aviation expert posits that the industry needs maintenance engineers, flight training, reduced taxes, infrastructure improvement and Jet A1 should be readily available and at the right price.

It is expected that with an NBAA in place business aviation in Nigeria can be better streamlined, and consequently, more profitable as those who do not meet the required standards can be easily edged out.





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