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Dana Air intensifies Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, hails teachers

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Dana Air has restated its  commitment to raising  awareness for breast cancer in Nigeria.

The airline in a statement by its Head of Corporate Communications Kingsley Ezenwa said, “This month serves as a poignant reminder regarding the significance of early detection practices alongside education initiatives and support systems for those impacted by breast cancer as we fight together to overcome this disease.

“Dana Air prioritises the well-being of its passengers and community, and we are thrilled to join forces with numerous individuals and organisations worldwide in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

“At Dana Airlines, we wholeheartedly acknowledge the importance of this international health endeavour. We are fully committed to raising awareness concerning breast cancer while extending our unwavering support towards all individuals engaged in combating this formidable battle.

“Similarly, the airline has also praised teachers for their invaluable contributions towards shaping the future, the society and the nation at large.”

Commenting on the theme to mark World Teachers’ Day 2023, the Chief Operating Officer of the airline, EmemObong Ettete said, “At Dana Air, our commitment to excellence goes beyond the skies. It extends to supporting the educators who shape our world’s future leaders.

“We believe that education is the foundation of progress, and teachers are the architects of that foundation and on this special day, we recognise the dedication, resilience, and compassion of teachers worldwide. We stand in solidarity with the global imperative to reverse teachers shortage and empower educators for the education we all aspire to have.”

A multiple award-winning airline, Dana Air was named among 100  Nigeria’s Most Respected Brands according to a survey conducted by BusinessDay’s Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU) in 2015.

The respondents rated companies having the best product packaging, advertising and customer complaint resolution centers.

Aviation Minister mulls review of air agreement with foreign countries

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has disclosed the possibility of the federal government to review all Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), with foreign countries.

As at December, 2016, Nigeria had executed Bilateral Air Service Agreements with 90 countries with only 39 of these executed agreements active.

However, speaking when members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), paid a courtesy visit on the minister, Keyamo, urged all airlines to utilise their BASA routes to reduce the prices of airfare.

According to the minister, airline operators should renew and repair their fleets to encourage passengers’ patronage, saying the government is ready to partner and support AON once they are ready to raise the standard of their services.

“I don’t want to operate as a ghost, I said one of my policies is to operate an open policy. Bring up your challenges so that Nigerians would understand exactly where Government and airlines operators stands.’’

He also disclosed that he’s ready to support the growth and sustenance of the local airline operators while holding them to the highest international standards in the aviation industry.

According to him, airlines are critical to the growth and development of the aviation industry and the country at large, hence government is ready to help them operate profitably.

He also pleaded with the airline operators to cooperate among themselves to find a way to establish their businesses such that it will have enough capital based to survive instances like COVID-19 pandemic.

He promised to suggest to government the possibilities of AON accessing facilities at single digits, including Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX), meet their foreign obligations.

Speaking earlier, the President of AON, Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa, highlighted some of the constraints and challenges and probable solution to Nigeria aviation industry.

Abdulmunaf who was represented by Capt. Roland Iyayi, identified foreign exchange, Jet A1 fuel, funding options, infrastructure, taxes, fees and charges as well as government policies as challenges facing the sector.

AON while proposing solutions requested for licences for Jet A1 importation and distribution through strategic partnership and an immediate review of all industry taxes, fees and charges.

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Aviation Varsity graduates 800 aviation professionals in Ethiopia

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By  Seun Ibiyemi

Ethiopian Aviation University has graduated close to 800 aviation professionals including international trainees from eight African countries and one from Asia.

The graduation ceremony which took place at the university’s facility, last week 2024 was graced by Ambassadors and Officials from African countries including Ethiopian Airlines Group executives, families and friends of the graduates.

The graduates were trainees in Ethiopian Aviation University’s Pilot, Aviation Maintenance, Cabin Crew, and Commercial Training programs.

Congratulating the aviation professionals, Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, said, “We are delighted to witness the fruits of our effort in realising a self-sufficient Africa, in terms of aviation professionals supporting the industry within the continent.

“We believe in the potential of Africa’s youths to shape the continent’s aviation and continue to educate them at our centre of excellence.

“Training globally competitive professionals, today, we graduate 308 aviation maintenance, 142 pilots, 297 cabin crew, 25 electro-mechanical professionals, and 15 ticket agents. I urge Africans to invest in training their youth for the future of aviation at Ethiopian Aviation University.”

Since its establishment in 1956, Ethiopian Aviation Academy, upgraded to a university level recently, has been offering various aviation courses to local and international trainees.

The university currently offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in aerospace and hospitality including BSc in Aeronautical Engineering, Aviation Maintenance Engineering, Aviation Management & Operations, BA in Tourism & Hospitality Management, MSc in Data Science, and MBA in Aviation Management.

Ethiopian Aviation University continues to offer diploma and certificate programs in aircraft maintenance technician, pilot training, cabin crew, commercial training, leadership, career development, catering training, ICAO courses, and online courses. In addition to its facility at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian offers aviation training in regional cities, including Hawassa, Dire-Dawa, Bahir-Dar, and Mekelle.

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Nigeria’s performance in latest ICAO USAP-CMA audit declines to 71.04%

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By  Seun Ibiyemi

Nigeria’s performance in ICAO’s USAP-CMA, ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach Sustainability Indicator is 71.04 percent.

This figure represents the country’s average Effective Implementation (EI) of the eight Critical Elements (CEs). It regards the number of satisfactory Protocol Questions divided by the total number of applicable PQs related to that CE.

Previous audit comparisons

Nigeria scored 96.3 percent in the 9-day audit conducted in June 2015. The current result saw the country losing 25.26 percent. The country also went through a safety audit in 2008 where it scored 67 percent and just last year 2023, it scored 70 percent.

Historically, the audit system has changed over time since Nigeria embarked on the audit in 2008. Back then it was an assessment system called the security assessment, it metamorphosed into Universal security audit programme and from 2014 it became the ICAO USAP-CMA. Nigeria is one of the first countries in the world to go through ICAO USAP-CMA in 2015 as it is now known.

The present audit revealed the country’s Compliance Indicator for Annex 17 Standards are 59.82 percent. The decline in Nigeria’s performance in the ICAO USAP-CMA highlights significant areas for improvement. Addressing these deficiencies is crucial for enhancing national and global aviation security.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The goal is to enhance the implementation of security standards and recommended practices, identify security deficiencies, and facilitate the resolution of these deficiencies to improve overall aviation security.

According to a statement by FAAN in March 2024, Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after the audit. However, the results are the complete opposite, with the country’s Compliance Indicators dipping.

Detailed assessment of Nigeria’s security performance

Nigeria was judged based on the General Principle, Organisation, Preventive Security Measures, and Management of Response to Acts of Unlawful Interference. Under the General Principle, Nigeria scored 72 percent in its Objectives, 0 percent in applicability, and 100 percent in International Cooperation. Nigeria’s performance in ICAO’s USAP-CMA.

In the Organisation category, the country scored 54 percent in National Organization and Appropriate Authority, 71 percent in Airport Operation, and 44 percent in Aircraft Operations. For training, qualification, and security culture, Nigeria received a score of 55 percent, while in quality control, it scored 40 percent. Conversely, Air Traffic Service Providers received a perfect score of 100 percent.

Regarding measures relating to passengers and their cabin baggage, 50 percent furthermore in measures relating to cargo, mail, and other goods, and 60 percent in measures relating to hold baggage. Moreover, the country scored 86 percent in measures relating to special categories of passengers and 100 percent in measures relating to landside.

However, due to national security concerns, this publication will not discuss the other security critical elements of the audit.

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NCAA confirms TRACON Footage IDs violators, reassures on Airspace Safety

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By  Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA has confirmed radar footage of the two recent airspace violations in Abuja.

The Authority said it has full details of the identities of the aircraft and operators involved in the two violations cases.

This successful identification the Authority attributed to the functionality of Nigeria’s Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) system. Specifically, the Primary and Secondary Surveillance Radars located in Abuja.

Ag Director General, Captain Chris Najomo, further stated that the Authority investigated recent violations in the prohibited flight zones (DNP4) in Abuja. Both violations involved controlled flights in controlled airspace, which strayed into restricted zones due to adverse weather.

In a signed statement, Captain Najomo clarified that the term “unknown aircraft” is standard security terminology reported to the NCAA. NCAA confirms radar footage of violators.

This clarification became necessary following reports that labelled Nigeria’s airspace as unsafe without explaining the technical terminology used. Captain Najomo explained, “For clarity, the Primary Surveillance Radar identifies aircraft as moving targets without revealing their identity. The Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), a key TRACON component, identifies aircraft equipped with ATC Mode ‘S’ transponders.”

Additionally, Najomo emphasised that upgrading Nigeria’s aviation infrastructure, such as radar systems, is standard global practice.

He said, “Five additional MSSR stations in Obubra, Ilorin, Talata Mafara, Maiduguri, and Numan support the TRACON at four major locations.

“We must update these systems regularly as technology evolves, and the Authority’s continuous oversight has found NAMA effective in this regard.”

Moreover, Captain Najomo also cited international standards for aircraft in controlled airspace. He stressed a rule: all controlled airspace aircraft must have functioning ATC transponders.

This aligns with international regulations (Annex 6, Convention on International Aviation) and is documented in Part 7 of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations. Turning it off in controlled airspace is a violation and security breach.

Furthermore, he stressed that the NCAA will enforce this with appropriate actions, including possible criminal referral.

Speaking on welfare, Captain Najomo acknowledged recent interventions to improve remuneration and working conditions for Air Traffic Controllers.

Moreover, he stated that the NCAA had intervened in a dispute between ATCOs and NAMA regarding the need for better remuneration and working conditions.

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