THEME: “PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF AIR TRANSPORT PLANNING, OPERATIONS & MANAGEMENT IN THE SOUTH EAST,” SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER, 2021, IN ENUGU, ENUGU STATE.
Good morning, Ladies and gentlemen of the press. I am happy to welcome you to this press briefing on the forthcoming Eastwing Aviation Annual Seminar (EAAS) 2021, designed as a three-day seminar with the theme, “Pushing the Boundaries of Air Transport Planning, Operations and Management in the South East Region.”
I will make it brief and then take your questions at the end.
The seminar is packaged by Eastwing Aviation Training Centre in Collaboration with GOGMAR Nigeria Ltd, which is a foremost multi-disciplinary aviation training institution and consultancy based in Enugu. We collaborate with foreign and local partners to enhance technical and operational efficiency in aviation training in the following core areas:
- Aviation Management
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
- Airport Operations and facilitation training
- Human Resources Management training
- Safety Management Systems
- Human Factors in Engineering
RATIONALE FOR THE SEMINAR
As indicated in the theme, the seminar is focused on the SouthEast and will accordingly draw its participants from the geo-political zone. This is to stimulate a new consciousness in aviation (i.e air transport planning, operations and management). This is to develop robust aviation activities in the region through training. Aviation is a fast-paced technologically driven industry that connects people, cultures and businesses across the globe. Presently, air transport has become the engine for economic growth. It creates direct and indirect jobs, promotes tourism and trade in addition to attracting foreign investments.
It is particularly puzzling that the South East region dominated by business oriented men and women have not fully embraced air transport as a business driver so as connect to its numerous benefits. This deficiency is attributable to lack of awareness and inadequate aviation facilities, knowledge and experience.
For some inexplicable reasons, the south-east known for their professional and entrepreneurial spirit, appears to have taken the backseat in the various aspects of the aviation sector. This situation is now glaring as all states of the federation are venturing into the aviation business by building airports and integrating the industry into their economic superstructure.
Aside from the CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, there are hardly prominent Igbo names that you can mention offhand as big players and stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry. Even in the professional cadre such as pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, dispatchers, cabin crew, and administrative support management, the South East is glaringly lagging in numbers and quality. This adds up to low human capacity for the South East in air transport operations.
For some inexplicable reasons, too, our people have somehow considered aviation a non-profitable sector for investment. In truth, it is not the kind of investment that gives a quick return; but where they got it wrong is that in the long run, it is one of the boosters of the state or national economy. The fact is obvious from the achievement of states such as Akwa Ibom that have made a solid investment in aviation.
Our failure to invest in the aviation sector also affects the capacity of the region to optimize its employment quotient. In every area of the aviation business, South East appears lagging behind other regions.
The lukewarm attitude toward aviation matters by our government and the business community leaves the initiative in the hands of the individual who unfortunately could hardly afford the required capital-intensive training. But we can borrow a leaf from other geo-political regions, especially in the North and South-South where the government sponsors indigenes with scholarships to study aviation courses. And over the years have been able to build a degree of capacity and manpower in aviation matters.
BENEFITS OF THE SEMINAR
Generally in Nigeria, the aviation business is still an untapped sector. And it is high time Igbos are stimulated to begin to see the potential gains accruable to them and the region if they invest in the sector.
Therefore the seminar aims at igniting a new thinking towards the establishment and operation of air transport as a veritable engine for economic growth of the region.
We also aim at harnessing the potentials available in the industry by grooming future aviators in the most technologically advanced system and instill aviation culture in our young population.
The ultimate objective of the seminar is to gradually and systematically instill new consciousness through training that would drive the entrepreneurial spirit of the people to invest in air transport. In line with the objective, the seminar will evaluate aviation operations in the region in the following areas:
- Examine the prospects and problems of air transportation in Nigeria and the South East in particular.
- Analyse the efficiency of Air transport infrastructure and services as provided by FAAN.
- Examine the next-generation of Air transportation systems (facilities/equipment) and unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
- Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on air transportation
- Nigerian Civil Aviation regulations (Nig-CARs) on Safety and Security in air transportation in Nigeria
Thank you for listening.
Eastwing Aviation/GOGMAR Nigeria Ltd
October 2, 2021 Enugu