From left: Guest Chief Operation Officer, Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi; Chairman of the Occasion and Group Managing Director, Finchglow Holdings, Mr. Bernard Bankole; Chairman, League of Airports andAviation Correspondents (LAAC), Mr. Olusegun Koiki; Key note Speaker/Centre Director , Centre for International Advance and Professional Studies (CIAPS), Prof.Anthony Kila and Managing Director/CEO, Med-View Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, during the 26th Annual Conference of League of Aviation and airport Correspondents (LAAC) held at Sheraton Hotel Ikeja Lagos on Thursday
Mr. Bankole Bernard, Group Managing Director, Finchglow Holdings while delivering his presentation at League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) said Nigerian Government should support all major airports to operate 24 hours daily
Bernard who chaired the LAAC 26thAnnual conference advised the Federal Government to take a cue from what happens elsewhere with 24 hours operations, stressing that what determines 24 hourly operation in other climes is subject to traffic, revenue, size of operations and other intricately woven factors
He said, “Taking a cue from advanced countries all over the world, some factors determine if an airport should operate for 24 hours or not. Some of these factors include the traffic on the route, the cost of operations – is the business within the airport able to sustain the operations, navigational equipment and a long list of other factors.
According to him, with all things considered, he disagreed that all major airports in Nigeria should operate 24 hours daily.
He went, “To drive this thought further, there are a few more important questions to ask. The first is, what level of traffic do the proposed 24 hours airports record annually? How many domestic airlines in Nigeria have schedules for 24-hour operations? What is the economic impact of operating for 24 hours? Who bears the cost of operations? Should FAAN decide to make provisions for 24 hours operations on these routes, are the airlines able to pay for these services, and has there been any intentional effort to drive traffic to our airports such as creating non-aeronautical sources of revenue like cinemas, amusement parks and other attractions around the airports? He further questioned.
Bernard equally canvassed airport terminal modernization with shopping malls as it will contribute to the commercial viability of the airports and other necessary infrastructure like the internet and constant power supply to support businesses.
To make the airport further attractive and viable he canvassed for the provision of affordable hotels which will give credence to investments.
“The ability to provide BnB (Bed & Breakfast) hotels around the terminals of some of these airports will be of great attraction and will increase the viability of the airport as well.”
“Lastly, there is the area of interconnectivity within the airports. The interconnectivity of the local airports to the international airports will contribute to the economic viability of these airports. It will also bring the connection to such airports; hence it will not be limited to one drop-off and pick-up.
Bernard warns government that the continuous rise of dollar against naira would spell doom for the aviation industry giving the galloping fares on display by airlines.
He added that this is just as he insisted that the situation was scary for all business entities in the country and appealed to the government to force a change.