L:R: Commissioner, AIB-N, Akin Olateru and President, ART, Dr. Gbenga Olowo
Key players in the air travel industry are advocating the training of aviation managers who understand air transport economics.
They believe their managerial skills are needed in addressing some major problems in the Industry.
An aviation manager is responsible for the overall operations of an airline. He can hire and fire staff, negotiate contracts and coordinate the work carried out by the various departments.
These are in addition to providing training, design and implement strategic initiatives and ensure the company complies with all of the relevant rules and regulations.
Unfortunately, some stakeholders in the Nigeria’s aviation Industry believe no individual has been given the requisite training to take up these managerial responsibilities.
The Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Nigeria, Mr. Akin Olateru said enormous efforts have been made in training pilots, aircraft engineers, air traffic controllers among others.
However, he said one thing was lacking: well trained and sound aviation managers.
“Lets be sincere with ourselves. How many commercial managers do we have in aviation industry in Nigeria today that can compete with the world, I mean commercial manager, this is somebody that will tell you this is the price to sell a seat, so that is where the issues are. We need to invest in human capital”.
Stressing the need to invest in human capital, the president Aviation Roundtable Initiatives, ART, Dr. Gbenga Olowo says, there is a big vacuum now to get the managers, who possesses a strong knowledge of the aviation industry and its processes, nuances and legal requirements.
He, however, is not optimistic if the industry would be willing to absorb these ones into the system.
“That’s the truth, we are going into extinction, the problem now is, even when you get those managers, we have no will to use them”.
The Former Managing Director, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi is of the opinion that priority should be given to the industry’s pressing needs.
“And so, we need to focus on the foremost important things and begin to chase them”.
The Director, Aerodromes and Airspace Standards, Mr. Tayib Odunowo says a solution is underway, that is a national aviation master plan that would address vexed issues in the Industry.
“This masterplan is a Nigerian master plan, other that we have a civil aviation master plan. This civil aviation master plan keys into national Master plan”.
Mr. Tony Ukachukwu and Victoria Adegbe say, if the industry knows what to do to fall in line with the global aviation industry, it should be done fast.
“What is stopping us to getting to where we are to where we want to be as a sector, knowing where we stand in the comity of Africa as a country. And I believe we can do something today”.
The regulatory agency, service providing agencies and the airline operators are collaborating to find lasting solutions to the industry’s challenges and it is hoped that solution comes soon.