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Pilots, engineers back FG’s decision to stop extension of flight operations in sunset airports

Pilots, engineers back FG’s decision to stop extension of flight operations in sunset airports
September 22
21:10 2022

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) says it supports the decision of aviation authorities to stop granting requests to some airlines for extension of flight operation hours into sunrise to sunset airports.

Abednego Galadinma, NAAPE president, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

Sunset airports refer to aerodromes without landing facilities. This means that airlines can only operate between 7 am to 6.30 pm.

However, the five major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano, can operate 24 hours, sunrise to sunset.

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On Wednesday, Rabiu Yadudu, managing director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said the organisation would no longer grant extension hours to airlines that operate in such airports.

Yadudu, who spoke at the 2022 airline and airport business summit in Lagos, said the agency in collabora­tion with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), took the decision in the interest of safety and security situations of the industry.

Speaking on the development in the statement, Galadinma, said the decision was a step in the right direction.

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He also urged stakeholders, especially airline operators, to strictly follow their schedules to avoid a crisis in their operations.

“If the intention is based on safety and security of airlines and persons, it is not out of place. I don’t think the intention is to short-change the airlines,” the NAAPE president said.

“I will only advise the airlines to ensure that they adhere strictly to their schedules instead of asking for an extension from FAAN and NAMA.

“As you know, safety and security are our top priority in the industry and can’t be compromised.”

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Speaking on the  ‘excellence service award’ to Green Africa Airways, Galadinma said the business plans of the airline put it in a good position for the honour.

He also said the airline had operated for a year and its operations had been smooth, without much complaint from air travellers, adding that members of NAAPE were happy with their performance.

“What we need to understand is that unionism is a creation of law, it is not an optional thing, but being a member is voluntary,” he said.

“As you know, most of the pilots and engineers at Green African Airways are not new in the industry.

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“Most of them have been our members. It is just that they just migrated to that organisation.”

Galadima also suggested that the federal government should adopt the Emirates Airline model for the national carrier.

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According to him, if well-executed, the Nigerian public would benefit from the Nigeria Air project.

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