By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has inaugurated the National Facilitation Committee which is expected to serve as a vehicle for carrying out the National Facilitation Programme.
The responsibilities of the National Facilitation Committee are to designate Customs airports in Nigeria, develop procedures through which operators of scheduled and non-scheduled services may request permission to land or depart from Customs airports and arrange for border inspection services at the Customs airports.
Disclosing this development to newsmen, Acting Director- General, NCAA, Engr. Benedict Adeyileka who was represented by Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, the Director of Consumer Protection, DCP, said the setting up of the committee was pursuant to the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stipulating that each contracting state shall establish a National Facilitation Committee.
Adeyileka said at the inauguration which was held at the NCAA’s Annex Conference Facility that the committee is composed of heads of government agencies and the chief executive officers of the national organisations representing the aircraft operators and airport operators.
According to him, in the course of carrying out the work of the committee, the members may designate one or more middle level management staff in their respective organisations to represent them in meetings at the working group level.
“The primary responsibility for the National Facilitation Committee is domiciled with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Nigeria.” He added that the purpose of the National Facilitation Programme is to implement the Chicago Convention mandate that contracting states shall provide for and facilitate the border-crossing formalities that must be accomplished with respect to aircraft engaged in international operations, their passengers, crews and cargo.”
The DCP continued by revealing that membership of the committee which will be headed by the NCAA Director- General, shall comprise of the following – Aviation Ministry, Customs, Immigration, Police, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Agriculture/Environment, Security and Narcotics, Public Health, FAAN, NAMA, Tourism, International Airlines and National Aviation Security Committee.”