The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Mukhtar Usman, on Friday, presented the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, aerodrome certificate to the Managing Director, of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma.
At the award ceremony and presentation of certificate at the international airport, the DG said the certification was acquired by Annex 14 of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Usman also said that the exercise was in fulfillment of part 12 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations on safety of air navigation.
The global air navigation plan according to Usman, was for a safe, efficient, secure and environmentally friendly global air transport system through the deployment of harmonised air proceeds and navigation facilities.
According to the DG it is a global strategy for fostering standards and uniformity in the maintenance of aerodrome and air navigation infrastructure and associated services, with the aim of enhancing safety and efficiency.
Usman, recalled that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos was certified on September 18, during which NCAA, promised to complete the certification of the NAIA, Abuja airport.
"We are therefore pleased to fulfill this promise today with the certification of the FAAN as the Certified Aerodrome Operator of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
NCAA boss disclosed that less than 25 per cent of international airports in the Africa and Indian Ocean region were certified, adding that only Nigeria had two airports certified in the region.
He commended the certification teams of FAAN and NCAA and Aerodrome Certification Project Team of the West and Central African regional office of ICAO for the attainment of the certification.
U said the project team was inaugurated by ICAO in August 2016 to provide technical support to states in the region towards achieving certification of international airports within 11 months in 8 states.
The pilot project, according to the DG was designed in line with lCAO vision of “No Country Left Behind“ included Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Cote d’ Ivoire.
"It is also interesting to note that with the certification of Abuja airport today, Nigeria has become the first state to achieve the certification of more than one international airport in the AFI Region.
"However, we are not resting on our oars as the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports are scheduled for completion in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2018.
"This is in compliance with the Abuja Ministerial Declaration and safety targets of 2012.
"Abuja airport remains very unique in the aerodrome certification project as it was greatly facilitated with the provision of a totally resurfaced runway, with full complement of Category 2 facilities."
In his remarks, commended NCAA aerodrome certification team for their commitment towards project, adding that FAAN was committed to ensuring that all international airports across the country were certified.
Dunoma disclosed that the authority with the support of government was determined to ensure that Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna airport got certification as soon as possible.
He promised that FAAN would continue to work with NCAA to achieve safety in all airports in the country.
Dunoma called on airline operators to use the used the opportunity of the certification to increse their operations to enable FAAN generate more revenue for the government.
The MD said: "Certification means that FAAN has complied with the required level of safety in our operations and that would make the operators in the airport very happy.
"It also means that it has been agreed by NCAA that all the requirements that we needed to provide, we have provided them and I am happy for that because it is a great achievement.
"We have started the process of certifying Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna but I cannot say when that will be because it is a process,’’ he said.