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Aviation Safety Round Table group picks holes in constitution of national carrier panel

Barely two weeks after the constitution of the Working Committee on New National Carrier, leading stakeholders’ body in the aviation industry, the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), weekend, raised strong objection against the committee, saying its emotional influence in the industry will be suspicious and anti-progressive

Business Hilights recalls that the Federal Government had at a meeting presided over by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, inaugurated a nine-man task force to oversee the commencement of the national carrier, saying that it would begin operations in December this year.

According to reports, the committee is headed by the Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu; while the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman; and the Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed, are members.

Other members of the committee are the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr. Akin Olateru; a representative of the national carrier transaction adviser, Capt. Tilmann Gabriel; a representative of the transaction adviser for the MRO and Aviation Leasing Company, Layi Are; and the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Mr. Chidi Izuwah; while the Technical Assistant to the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Ben Tukur, serves as the secretary.

In a statement signed by Olumide Ohunayo, the group noted that “The ASTRTI knows that an ideal national carrier must be domestically registered with the support and encouragement of the citizens through the objective actions of the government irrespective of party affiliation.

“The ART is not in sync with the committee made up of government agency heads to midwife the process of setting up the proposed national carrier. We as professionals in the industry are advising a cautious approach to this project.

“The probability of the directed committee’s emotional influence on the finished product is not very encouraging. We will perhaps encourage not just a minimal involvement of the government in the process, but also her restriction to establishing a level playing field for the Nigerian public’s participation as investors.”

However, the group warned the federal government to watch out against going into a possible colossal and avoidable usual loss of both scare revenue and man hours of Nigerians over a a scheme that is originally programmed to fail.