- Review Bilateral Air Service Agreements, Stakeholders Tell Minister
Stakeholders in the aviation industry have called for a review of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and other countries of the world.
They made this call, on Wednesday at the 23rd annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) held yesterday in Lagos.
In his presentation, the President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Mr Gbenga Olowo condemned the existence of multiple entry points by foreign airlines; a situation he says is detrimental to local airlines and “an annihilation of the domestic market”. He urged the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to reverse the multiple entry points to a single entry point for foreign airlines to ensure a favourable balance of trade.
He said “The essence of regulation is not only about safety. We have failed with economic regulations. This is a major weakness.”
“This is the necessary and sufficient condition for a viable and productive aviation sector at Sirika’s second coming,” he added.
Aviation security expert, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd.) also acknowledge the need for BASA review. He also suggested that they be restricted to either Lagos or Abuja airports.
He, however, said that all business contracts with foreign airlines were within the ambit of the Ministry of Aviation. Adding that a review of BASA will involve careful handling and diplomacy.
He said, “To retain and sustain the domestic routes and the markets for the Nigeria private airline commercial operators, there is a very urgent need to review those commercial agreements that have given multiple landings and destinations in this country to foreign airlines.
“You should consider therefore restricting the foreign airlines landings to either Abuja or Lagos and to any other airport in the alternative geographical zone to their first choice of Lagos or Abuja for each airline within its operating BASA.
“No foreign airline should go to Lagos and Abuja but any airline can fly multiple frequencies as many times as it wishes daily and weekly to its allocated airports.”
Ojikutu further emphasized the need for airport security and better road networks to ensure the safety of passengers.