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  • Saturday, June 22, 2024
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How Business Aviation helps decongest airports, create jobs

Business aviation refers to both owned and chartered aircraft used for various purposes. It is an exclusive aviation segment compared to commercial aviation, which offers mass access. Today, business aviation is more than a luxury; it is a vital leveraging tool that facilitates extra competitive advantage with regards to efficiency in transportation and logistics.

Whilst some people consider owning or booking a private jet as a status symbol, others recognize that the long lines, waits, limited space and non-customized service associated with commercial airliners are sometimes unnecessary impediments to business. With business aviation, business leaders can get to their destinations faster and more efficiently whilst maximizing the time spent onboard for further business activities.

As Nigeria grows economically, it has become a major force in business aviation in recent years, opening up a potential path for the country’s economic expansion and diversification.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of business aviation is rising throughout West Africa, and Nigeria is leading the way in this expansion, exhibiting exceptional dominance in the industry.

Danjuma Audu, the President and Executive Director – Digital Transformation for Reliance Infosystems Limited stated that when seen as a whole, Nigeria’s thriving business aviation industry has spurred growth in a number of related businesses.

According to him, the rise and spread of Training Schools, Catering Businesses, Aircraft Maintenance Organizations, and Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Organizations are clear examples of the knock-on effects. The mutually beneficial association observed in the value chain highlights the significant influence of business aviation on the wider economic environment.

The aviation sector is fast becoming one of the best performing sectors of the Nigerian economy with the recent strides of players in both commercial and business aviation segments of the sector.

However, whilst there have been accolades for some of the indigenous players in the commercial segment, the efforts and contributions of business aviation may have been ignored.

Furthermore, over the past decade, the industry has played a key role in creating a significant number of job possibilities, which has in turn encouraged the emergence of a completely new industry.

Business aviation offers a wide range of professions, including engineers, pilots, flight attendants, and dispatchers, substantial career progression opportunities. The industry’s critical significance in promoting socioeconomic advancement and prosperity is highlighted by the recent increase in employment creation.

Indeed, the government may have become critical of the sub-sector due to the recent statements and actions of key decision makers on the country’s aviation sector. Therefore, it is pertinent to draw attention potential impact with the right actions and policies.

Audu stated that notwithstanding these accomplishments, there is an urgent need to change the narrative to avoid making claims that can unintentionally erode investor and customer confidence. It is imperative that governments prioritize actions that aim to establish an enabling climate for the sustainable development of the industry, instead of endorsing rhetoric that may impede growth.

“Optimizing regulatory frameworks to remove obstacles and expedite procedures is one such necessity. Through the resolution of regulatory obstacles and the acceleration of bureaucratic processes, authorities can successfully reintegrate allegedly ‘illegal’ operators into the regulatory mainstream.

“This strategy not only encourages compliance but also creates an environment that is favorable to growth and innovation. It is imperative to acknowledge that the obstacles confronting the business aviation industry are not exclusive to Nigeria.

“Countries all around the world struggle with the ubiquity of illicit charters, which emphasizes the necessity of a reasonable and practical approach to regulation. Instead of implementing punitive actions that resemble a brutal crackdown, stakeholders should embrace cooperative approaches meant to improve monitoring while supporting lawful business,” the President and Executive Director – Digital Transformation for Reliance Infosystems Limited explained.

According to him, the discrepancy between the total number of legal charters in Europe and Africa and the frequency of illegal charters in the United States serves as a sobering reminder of the challenges involved in industry regulation.

Authorities, he said can take a cue from effective regulatory frameworks that value cooperation and compliance above punitive measures, rather than taking a confrontational approach.

The history of business aviation in Nigeria is essentially one of resiliency, creativity, and unrealized potential. Policymakers can leverage the transformative power of business aviation to move Nigeria towards a future characterized by prosperity and opportunity by creating an environment that is conducive to growth. To realize this emerging industry’s full economic potential, stakeholders must work together harmoniously by establishing a path for equitable growth and sustainable development as a result.

Nigeria’s business aviation industry is a bright spot ready to spur prosperity and economic diversification. He suggested that stakeholders may unleash the full potential of the sector by streamlining regulatory frameworks, integrating ostensibly ‘illegal’ firms, encouraging cooperative oversight, making investments in infrastructure and training, and promoting industry advantages.

Nigeria, he said can effectively negotiate the difficulties of the industry and leverage its transformative power to advance national development by means of strategic cooperation and proactive actions.

“Adopting a forward-thinking strategy would help Nigeria become a prominent player in the global business aviation scene, promoting opportunity and inclusive growth for years to come. It will also maintain the sector’s growth trajectory,” he added.

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