The managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma has said that the evolving nature of airport management demands the transformation of airports from public service providers into commercial enterprises that are efficiently managed to generate more revenues and subsequently declare profits.
Speaking at the 59th Airport Council International (ACI)-Africa Board and Committees Meetings and Regional Conference and Exhibition holding in Lagos, Dunoma said the delegates had congregated to seek ways to achieve the unique goal of transforming “our airports into viable, sustainable business entities.”
Looking at the sessions lined up for the conference, he said “we will all be imparted with knowledge and ideas that will facilitate and accelerate our quests for financial liberation and transformation.”
Over the years, he said ACI-Africa had focused on safety as a priority leading to the initiation of the Airport Excellence (APEX) in safety programme.
The initiative, he said had recorded great achievements as major airports continue to request for the programme.
Dunoma, who is also the president of ACI-Africa executive board, also said Nigeria had been in the forefront of striving to attain the highest levels of safety standards.
“With the assistance of the APEX in safety programme, we were able to achieve the certification of our two busiest airports.
“Our goal is to certify all our international airports and we are working tirelessly to achieve that, hem we have taken the bold step to carry out the APEX in safety programmes in our international airports. The APEX review for Kano and Port airports was carried out in March while reviews for Enugu and Kaduna airports are scheduled for June this year,” he said.
Thereafter, the managing director said FAAN’s relationship with ACI-Africa spans over a decade stressing that “it has been a worthwhile and mutually benefitting relationship” adding that “the same mutually benefitting relationship is enjoyed by other members of ACI Africa.”
“Last year, Nigeria signed the agreement to become one of the ‘ AC1 global training centers, to further advance the goal of human capacity development in FAAN and in Africa. The first training after the agreement was conducted in December 2017 where Nigeria received participants from other African countries,” he added.
Besides, he said ACI works with its members and also liaises with other International bodies like ACI World, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure improved human capacity development by providing various standard and customised trainings in different skill areas to ensure safe, secure and efficiently managed airports.
As president of the ACI-Africa executive board, Dunoma expressed appreciation to the board for the honour given to Nigeria to “play host to the global and regional giants of the industry.”
He also expressed appreciation to the sponsors of the event as well as the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the senate and House committees on aviation for the continuous support FAAN enjoys from them.