The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced the inauguration of the National Facilitation Committee, which is to improve the travel experience of air passengers in the country.
A statement from the NCAA on Monday noted that the committee was expected to serve as a vehicle for carrying out the national facilitation programme.
According to the statement, the setting up of the committee is pursuant to the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation stipulating that each contracting state would establish a national facilitation committee.
The Director of Consumer Protection, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, who represented the NCAA’s Acting Director-General, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka, during the inauguration programme, said the committee was composed of the heads of government agencies and the chief executive officers of the national organisations representing the aircraft operators and airport operators.
He was quoted as saying that for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the committee, the members could designate one or more middle level management officers in their respective organisations to represent them in meetings at the working group level.
He said, “The primary responsibility for the National Facilitation Committee is domiciled with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and the purpose of the national facilitation programme is to implement the Chicago Convention mandate that contracting states shall provide for and facilitate the border-crossing formalities that must be accomplished with respect to aircraft engaged in international operations, their passengers, crews and cargo.
“The responsibility of the National Facilitation Committee is to develop procedures through which operators of scheduled and non-scheduled services may request permission to land or depart from customs airports and arrange for border inspection services at the customs airports.
“Others are to develop programmes for control of security problems such as documents fraud, illegal migration, smuggling and touting; support the interested border control agencies in the establishment and maintenance of effective inspection systems at the airports and in their efforts to rationalise their respective procedures.”
Abdullahi said the membership of the committee, which would be headed by the NCAA Director General, would comprise the aviation ministry, customs, immigration, police, foreign affairs ministry, agriculture/environment, security and narcotics, public health, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Nigerian Airspace Management Authority, tourism, international airlines and the National Aviation Security Committee.
“Similarly, the corresponding airport facilitation committees shall be headed by the airport manager and the representatives of agencies such as the customs, immigration, quarantine, State Security Service, the NDLEA, Port Health, FAAN, NAMA, tourism and tnternational airlines,” Abdullahi added.
He added that it would also coordinate preparations for clearing large numbers of passengers, especially during holy pilgrimages.