- Lagos Airport in Final Stage of ICAO Certification
The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman, has said that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport has reached the final stage of safety certification by the International Civil Aviation Organisation under its Standard and Recommended Practices.
He said out of about five stages of the certification process, the Lagos airport is at the fourth stage of the ICAO’s recommended process.
He also said the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja would be next while the same method would be applied in certifying Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports, adding that it was important that the country’s international airports be certified.
Based on the recommendations of ICAO, the international airports were recently audited, paving the way for the certification process.
According to Usman, certification of the airports is to ensure that the provisions made by airport operator and the personnel meet and continue to meet the standards set by ICAO.
He said, “It is based on safety that airport are certified and it is required by ICAO to give confidence to international airline operators coming in that standards have been met. That is not to say that what we have now is unsafe, because we have been operating. The airports, as they are, are safe and they will be even safer, if we bring them in line with (the ICAO) standards and recommended practices because ICAO wants to bring in uniformity in terms of standards and recommended practices.
“Within a very short time, based on what we have in place now, Lagos will be certified. The certification process is in five stages and the airport is at about fourth stage. The fifth stage is just the signing of the certificate.”
Usman said the stages included the pre-application stage, formal application stage, document and evaluation of document stage and operational demonstration stage.
The DG said the NCAA had been working with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to ensure a smooth certification process.
“It is one thing to attain the level of certification and another to sustain the certification. The standards have to be maintained,” he said.