House Committee On Aviation Suspends Implementation Of New Aircraft Handling Charges
The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation led by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji has advised that the new aircraft ground handling rate of $3,900 be put on hold till after the next meeting with the stakeholders scheduled for Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 for all parties to come to agreement.
The new rate which shot up the handling rate of jumbo aircraft of the size of Boeing 777 series to over 1,000 percent was to take effect from Friday October 1st, 2021.The current rate for the same aircraft type is $330.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria, (AON) and the Airline Operators’ Council, (AOC) which are the umbrella bodies for local and foreign airlines had earlier petitioned the committee for its intervention over the new rate which they considered as cut throat.
This prompted the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation to summon the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) Capt. Musa Nuhu, and the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu who were asked to bring along with the Aircraft Grand Handlers Association of Nigeria, (AGHAN) and the International Air Transport Association, (IATA) for a meeting with the committee on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 to explain the rationale for the astronomical increase.
The chairman of the committee, Honourable Nnaji in his opening remarks stressed that the committee was concerned that the new rate would eventually be transferred to the end users (,Passengers) as it would likely reflect in air fare. The gap between the old rate and new rate he noted, “appears too high and does not support any economic logic and economy of scale”
After deliberations on the submissions by all parties, the committee unanimously agreed that the meeting be adjourned till next Wednesday, October 6th for further deliberations on the submissions made by all parties and for the Director-General of NCAA who was said to be out of the country, to attend in person.
The committee was of the view that there was need to ensure that an amicable resolution is reached by all interest groups.