The Nigerian Aviation industry is currently at its lowest ebb. The sector that used to be the cash cow of the country is close to a dead wood. It is grappling for breath due to the dearth of necessary infrastructures, inadequate finance, corruption and other ills.
Once upon a time, it was the toast of investors. Many foreign and local businessmen invested in the sector. Alas! these achievements have been thrown in the dustbin of history.
Efforts of successive administrations to bring back the glory of the sector has only hit a brick wall. This was alluded to by the Senate, through its Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Bala Ibn Na’Allah on September 12, 2017, while receiving in audience, leaders of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in Abuja. He described Nigeria’s aviation sector as one with the most hostile environment in the world.
This hostility affects both operators and passengers. It was displayed in the September 11, 2017, handling of three Air Peace passengers.
They had expressed concerns about an obstruction on the emergency exits of the aircraft; which is illegal. They were termed unruly passengers, arrested and charged to court.
Further checks at Part 8, of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations shows the non compliance of Air Peace. It states that “no person may allow carry-on baggage or other items to block access to the emergency exits when the aircraft is moving on the surface, during take-off or landing, or while passengers remain on board on the ground”.
If we’ve had a working Aviation sector, Air peace would have paid heavily for such contravention. Rather, the passengers that speak out were arrested and charged to court and labeled unruly.