Nigerian airlines lose over $180m to birds yearly —AON chairman

Umbrella body of carriers in the country, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has raised the alarm that it
loses over $180 million annually to incidence of bird strikes in the country’s airports and airfields.

The body also attributed over 70 per cent of air crashes in the country to inadequate navigational aids, negligence and insufficient oversight functions of government parastatals in the sector.

Speaking on behalf of its members in Lagos over the weekend, chairman of AON, Capt. Noggie Meggision, revealed that operators lose 30 engines to bird strike incidents in a year, stressing that the engine of an aircraft is sold for between $40 million and $70 million, depending on the type and capacity of the aircraft.

Meggison stressed that apart from mechanical errors associated with airplanes, inefficiencies and negligence of aviation agencies contribute massively to air accidents and incidents in the sector, saying that despite the fact that reports of such accidents and incidents were published, government has not learnt from them.

He said: “‘We need to start looking at landing aids and landing areas at airports because over 70 per cent of air crashes in Nigeria are linked to negligence on the part of aviation parastatals and oversight deficiencies of regulatory agencies. For instance, the ADC crash was due to air traffic control issue; Wings aviation crashed due to wrong charting by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, while the crashed Associated Aircraft of October 3, 2013, was on ground for 24 months before it was taken to the sky.

“We need to look at the issues and not sweep them under the carpet in Nigeria. We have issues ranging from badly drained runway surface to failure of air traffic controllers to properly monitor runways, among others.”

Also speaking, Director- General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, identified ageing workforce, paucity of funds and several other challenges facing the sector.

Usman, who was represented by Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, Mr. Adamu Abdulahi, however, noted that in the last couple of years, Nigeria has been investing heavily on the training and retraining of its technical personnel, stressing that government was also revamping the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria, for personnel training in critical areas.
Nigerian airlines lose over $180m to birds yearly —AON chairman Nigerian airlines lose over $180m to birds yearly —AON chairman Reviewed by Vita Ioanes on Monday, July 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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