By Chinelo Obogo
National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), has supported the decision of the Federal Government to withdraw flight extension requests to airlines that operate into sunrise and sunset airports.
This is as the association has presented an ‘Excellence Service Award’ to Green Africa Airways for its excellent service delivery since commencing flight services about a year ago.
Abednego Galadima, President, NAAPE, said that the decision to stop flight extension request to airlines by the managements of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is a step in the right direction.
According to him, the decision was based on security and safety, the decision could not be compromised.
He, however, appealed to stakeholders, especially airline operators, to adhere strictly to their schedules to avoid a crisis in their operations, stressing that once this is adhered to, disruption to service would be avoided.
He said: “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.
“I will only advise the airlines to ensure that they adhere strictly to their schedules instead of asking for extension by FAAN and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). As you know, safety and security are our top priority in the industry and can’t be compromised.”
On the presentation of ‘Excellence Service Award’ to Green Africa Airways, Galadima said the business plans of the airline encouraged it to do so.
He said: “The business plans of Green African Airways are well caught out. They have operated for a year and this has been very smooth without so much complaint from the air travellers. More so, our members at NAAPE are really happy with their performance.
“The award is a way of encouraging them to do better in terms of service delivery. So, we feel we should recgonise them and appreciate such an excellent performance by them.
“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. As you know, most of the pilots and engineers at Green African Airways are not new in the industry. Most of them have been our members. It is just that they just migrated to that organisation.”
On national carrier, Galadima urged the Federal Government to adopt the Emirates Airline model, stressing that if well-executed; the Nigerian public would be the utmost beneficiary of the Nigeria Air project.