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Air safety: Aviation minister seeks collaboration with Air Force

By on September 9, 2013

Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah,  has called for  collaboration and partnership between Civil and Military Aviation in order to  enhance and guaranty the safety of the Nigerian Airspace. Oduah said this when Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh paid a courtesy call on the Minister in Abuja.

Oduah who was  responding to pleas from Badeh to rehabilitate and reopen the Mubi and Kaduna Airstrips in Maiduguri and Kaduna respectively to ease military operations in the fight against Boko Haram and other terrorists activities in the country said  :

“For us, it is very crucial to have proper collaboration between Civil and Military Aviation, it is the only way we can all work in peace; and when we work in peace we will have efficient airports and operations will be hitch-free and seamless”, the Minister stated and called for regular fora “where we will meet as often as possible so that action can be taken on issues that need to be acted upon”. She decried a situation at the airports where there are different and conflicting Command and Control Centres.

According  to Joe Obi, Special Assistant, Media, to the Minister, Oduah further said “I think it doesn’t tell well of us that we are in a country where the Air Force Commandant is saying one thing and the Airport Manager or Director of Operations is saying something else and this is not good for our passengers. And because we are in civilian times and we are also dealing with international passengers, we have to be seen as coordinating and collaborating well.

We must have a collaboration platform in all our airports because this will narrow the Command and Control centres, who is giving the instructions and why they are giving the instruction so everybody will be on board. We need  each other for the Nigerian airspace to be safe and  have an efficient aviation sector”, Oduah .

The Minister also spoke further on potential areas of collaboration between Civil and Military Aviation. “There are many things civil aviation can learn from military aviation especially in the fields of Maintenance and Engineering and it is only through collaboration that this can be enhanced. I saw your hangars there are wonderful hangars  and I know you must have spent tons of money to construct them. These hangars have commercial needs and through collaboration, the Air Force will earn additional revenue and we can have the technical back-up that we need in the industry.