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It seems that the Nigerian aviation sector has defied the norms, as about 23 airways (traders) are at the moment searching for to start out their operations in probably the most populous black nation.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in an unique interview granted Nairametrics by its General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye.

While some new entrants have expressed curiosity to begin possession of airways, Adurogboye disclosed that others have reached varied levels within the acquisition of their Air Operators Certificates (AOC).

READ: Why new airlines find it difficult to get certified, fly in Nigeria – NCAA

Some of the airways are NG Eagle and Green Africa Airways, which have reached a complicated stage within the acquisition of an AOC. Rano Air, Northeast Shuttle and a bunch of others have expressed curiosity too however are nonetheless being thought of.

He mentioned, “We are currently treating and vetting about 23 applications. More are still coming to operate in Nigeria because they know and believe that there are several opportunities in the sector. Most importantly, a lot of them have seen the way safety issues have been tackled in the sector recently. These are the factors that must have boosted investors’ confidence in Nigerian airspace.

It’s a good thing to desire to come onboard. The process is a black and white thing. What you need to do in one phase to go to second, second to third, you fulfil it and the team that is in charge work as a team. It is not by the Director-General at any particular time. It’s a team of engineers, airworthiness inspectors, medical. It’s a team and nobody can influence the other.”

READ: The man singlehandedly changing the aviation industry narrative

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What they’re saying

However, aviation specialists appeared fearful arguing that the nation doesn’t want extra airways however massive physique plane, a pleasant enterprise surroundings and entry to cheaper funds.

An Aviation Consultant, Muyiwa Lucas, advised Nairametrics in a latest interview that what the nation wants are massive physique plane, as they’ll take extra passengers and favourably compete with international counterparts, who appear to have an edge over them.

He mentioned, “Currently Nigeria is experiencing low capacity. There are not enough aircraft seats to meet the demand of passengers. If airlines use bigger aircraft that can take more, it is cheaper than two or three airlines plying the same route and at the end of the day, they are not filled. So many people would want to fly now considering the security threats on the road; and air travel is also the fastest, safest and most reliable means of travel.”

READ: Airfares across Nigeria increases by 100%

Another hurdle that curbs development within the trade is reasonable credit score. Capt. David Olubadewo, Managing Director, Starburst Aviation Limited and a Nigerian primarily based within the UK, defined that a lot of the airways and different trade stakeholders couldn’t entry cheaper loans as a result of banks imagine that the sector is just too tough to spend money on.

“But that is wrong. It is not different from other sectors. We are all in it to make a profit at the end of the day. I don’t obtain loans from Nigerian banks, because I will end up with a 25% loss or more, but that is not happening in the UK where I pay far less interest rates.

If I take such a loan in Nigeria, it means I am -25 percent (interest rate) in red, and by the time you get to the top, you are owing millions. I cannot approach any of the banks to give me local money to do business in Nigeria. If I can go through that, you can imagine the experiences of the airlines.”

READ: Nigeria owes foreign airlines $53 million as proceeds from ticket sales – IATA

What it is best to know

Last March, Nairametrics reported on the levels airways have to cross earlier than they’ll safe their AOCs in Nigeria.

Phase 1 – pre-application section:

The NCAA will appoint a certification crew and course of the pre-application assertion of intent type (AC-OPS 001). Discussions on all regulatory necessities, the formal software and attachments and every other associated points will happen. This is normally every week’s course of.

Phase 2 – It includes a proper software for intending entrant the place paperwork and manuals (together with the curriculum vitae of key administration personnel) should be submitted for analysis. The minimal timeframe for the formal software section is 2 weeks.

Phase 3 – It is a doc analysis section the place the NCAA will evaluate the applicant’s manuals and different associated paperwork and attachments to make sure conformity with the relevant laws and protected working practices. The minimal timeframe for the doc analysis section is three months.

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Adurogboye added that the processes is straightforward and straight ahead sufficient and the necessities aren’t meant to discourage any investor. Contrary to that, they’re meant to indicate capability for security for the actual operations to be launched into.

He confused that new airways solely come on board as soon as they’ve fulfilled all the necessities within the staging course of stating that probably the most essential of these levels are levels three and handing over the AOC to the operator.

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