FG to charge low level flying helicopters for takeoff and landing, generate revenue, create jobs

A Multinational Control Centre is to be set up for the deployment of a data-driven solution to monitor and capture the operations of helicopters in the country.

The centre is to ensure the accurate collection of take-off and landing charges from choppers  by a consultancy firm recently inaugurated by the Federal Government and saddled with this responsibility.

At a news conference in Lagos, Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Stanley Chike said, the facility is to complement the ongoing installation of the multilateration by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA also meant to capture low level flying helicopters especially in the gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta region.

He said, this new charges recently approved and implemented by the Federal Government is a global practice but had never been enforced in the country, adding that their duty is to collect data and let government know how many helicopters fly in and out of the country in partnership with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

“We are giving data to government for government to know how many helicopters that flies in and out, government needs to know how many choppers we have in the country and the foreign ones off course. As a Rivers person, we always see choppers from gulf of Guinea, neighboring countries fly into Nigeria and go out, we need to give record of this, we are doing the digital data collection and manual collection, the landing charges for helicopters is not being charge in the country before now”.

According to Mr. Chike, this decision by government would help to block leakages of revenue accruing to government, create employment for the youths in the host communities leading to reduction in insecurity in these areas.

He appealed to International and Local Oil Companies, IOCs, LOCs in the Niger Delta to fully comply with this drive by the government.

“The stakeholders saw that this is something nobody ever thought of this and covering the revenue lacunal, the revenue leakage so at the end of the day, it was implemented and we were inaugurated, we need you to help us to make the IOCs to comply because not complying more than 5,000 to15,000 persons are losing jobs, imaging taking those youths off the streets in five years time”.

The collection of these charges are from the over 200 helipads, helidecks, aerodromes fixed base organizations, airstrips, floating production storage and off loading platforms across the country.

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