Aviation stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to encourage airline operators through investing more in the aviation industry.
The stakeholders made the call in Lagos at a conference organised by the publishers of an aviation magazine “Business Traveller Africa (BTA)’’. The theme of the conference was “Strengthening Business Travel in West Africa’’.
In a speech, BTA editor, Mr Dylan Rogers, called on the government to consider partnering with both local and foreign airlines operators to drive the industry forward. “Aviation business is very big and wide. It’s all about money; government should subsidise and float a National Carrier.
This will benefit the country and its citizenry. The floating of the carrier will make it more affordable for citizens to fly and have faith in the industry,’’ Rogers said. He also urged the government to promote the ‘Open Sky’ Agreement in such a way as to enable local airlines compete favourably and give air travellers room for choice.
According to him, the government should focus more on air safety to bring back the confidence of Nigerians in flying, as the recent Dana plane crash had affected local flights. Also speaking at the conference, the Sales and Marketing Director, ExecuJet, Mr Stephen Paddy, urged the government to provide facilities for smooth operations to encourage investors.
“Local airlines do not have the huge capital to train and retrain their staff, and at the same time, provide facilities that the government should have provided,’’ he said. Paddy said that airline operators should collaborate with the government to set rules and regulations to govern the aviation industry. He advised foreign airlines to understand the rules by their host countries, to enable them work better with the people and the government.