The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has put the amount of ticket proceeds by foreign and local airlines operating in Nigeria to the tune of N330, 548,324,796.84 billion in the first nine months of 2016.
The figure was disclosed by the director-general of NCAA, Captain Mukhtar Usman yesterday in a world press conference at the office of the regulatory agency at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
According to Usman, the proceeds were realised by the airlines despite the enormous challenges of economic recession, paucity of foreign exchange and the inability of international carriers to repatriate their ticket sales to their home countries, which also affected passengers and cargo movements in the preceding year.
The year 2016, Usman said, was a successful year for the entire aviation industry in Nigeria as it recorded another zero accident in the commercial transport category.
NCAA data and statistics show that ticket sales between January and December in 2015 stood at N385,909,897,028.80 billion while the total passenger traffic for the year was 11,402,899 and 233,845 flights within the period.
He further noted that, in 2015, airlines airlifted 42,000 passengers daily in 700 flights, while in 2016, the average number of passengers a day was 42,000 in 597 flights.
Usman added: “From January to September 2016, 8,030,816 passengers were airlifted with 130,745 domestic flights. Also, foreign passengers between January and September 2016 was 3,272,331 and with 33,099 flights. Total number of passengers was 11,344,936 and 163,833 flights in the past year.
“From the statistics available, 2015/2016 passenger volumes were similar with just a marginal difference. 2016 had less number of flights but with an increase in passenger volume anticipated annually as we are still awaiting the last quarter 2016 data, which is under collation and authentication.”
On the planned closure of Abuja airport runway, Usman insisted that before the announcement was made, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) made applications to it, but the Ministry of Aviation only made the announcement on the closure.
He explained that the Kaduna Airport was chosen as an alternate airport because of its proximity to Abuja and the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) equipment at the airport.
The director-general further noted that the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) arrangements Nigeria has with countries have increased from 88 to 90 with the addition of Seychelles and Bahamas in December while United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Netherlands, Turkey, Brazil, Qatar and Cote D’Ivoire have requested additional frequencies.
Besides, he disclosed that as at 2016, NCAA had 18 firms’ applications for Air Operators’ Certificates (AOCs).
On the 2017 agenda for the sector, Usman stated that the NCAA aimed to sustain zero accident in the aviation sector with increase in safety oversight, wider and more regular surveillance, stringent enforcement and appropriate sanctions.
He emphasised that the agency would continue to review and strengthen economic regulation, ensure improved consumer protection and continuous prioritisation of training.
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