NCAA canvasses technology use to advance passenger experience


Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) has implored both airport managers and airlines to adopt the use of technology to provide top notch passenger experience and a feeling of safety and security at the airports, as this will continue to help post-COVID-19 recovery of the air transport industry.

Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu represented by the Director, Aerodromes and Airspace Standards (DAAS), Mr. Mohammed Odunowo during the presentation of his paper at the ongoing Airports, Airlines Business Summit and Expo AABSE 2022 organized by NIGAV.

On use of technology to advance service in the industry he said, “Many airlines recognize the role of mobile apps for day-of-travel communications and functions demand for online check-in and pre-ordering of products in airports may increase if the technology option is available to let travelers check in, check flight status, determine travel time to the airport, modify their itineraries seamlessly across devices and channels, including via mobile messages.

“Mobile will continue to play a critical in-trip role and also help to mitigate sanitation concerns. As travelers start to fly again, they will expect airlines to have measures in place to protect their health and safety. Airlines should embrace this, to identify high-value mobile features and innovations they can add to their offerings to meet this new wave of needs.

According to him, the NCAA’s target is to win back public confidence to fly again stressing that while safety and security is paramount for air travel, so also is passenger satisfaction and a passenger’s experience will determine if he flies again or the means by which he/she will travel again.

He said, “Improving passenger experience is a holistic approach. The travel experience commences from the time a passenger arrives at the airport to arrival at final destination.”

With the pandemic, new habits established, passenger awareness has reached a different level. Namely, passengers are more inclined to use online check-in and self-check-in kiosks.

Overall, they are more willing to use technology as people refrain from close contact and asking questions which they could figure out themselves.

Speaking on the airport experience in welcoming passengers and ensuring their confidence in the new normal Odunowo said, “Airports must continue to demonstrate that they are ready to keep the pandemic under control, with all necessary standards, recommendations and requirements implemented and applied, ensuring that travelers can have a safe journey, from the airport building entrance, to boarding and accommodating their seats in the plane.

“These actions include: Airport ambience: Seating areas/restrooms/restaurants/shopping areas. Also indicating the level of cleanliness, while making it visible, is a positive factor. Hand sanitizers are available across the airport, especially near and within the areas with frequently touched surfaces.”

On the airline experience, he charged them to remain focused on maintaining customer trust and pave ways for quick recovery.

According to him, maintaining schedule integrity is key as airlines must not display or advertise wrong flight times. In the event of a flight disruption the airline must provide timely information to passengers and live up to their obligation to provide care (Refreshment/meal/refund/re-routing on another flight in a timely manner) and in adherence to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2015 Part 19.

He noted on misleading advertising that, “Airlines must not display or advertise wrong flight times. Passengers book flights to meet their travel plans it is frustrating when a person purchases a ticket for a particular time only to be informed that the fight will operate at a later time.”

He enjoined staff of airlines and airports to be courteous to passengers and not discriminate based on color, religion and must show willingness timeliness and fairness in handling of consumer issues/complaints.