Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of West Link Airlines has advised the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo not to mobilise contractors to the site for the construction of the second Abuja Airport runway without the approval of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the industry regulator.
Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia stated this on Monday in Lagos in an interview with journalists.
Mshelia expressed delight with the plan to construct a second runway for the airport after many years of delays but said the regulatory agency should be allowed to direct the conduct of the exercise.
He emphasised that it was the duty of the NCAA to ensure the contractors met all the required standards like the location and the direction of the runway, including the design, insisting that this was not in the purview of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
On flight delays, Mshelia explained that most of the reasons for flight delays were caused by the government and its agencies.
He emphasised that rather than the public, especially the air passengers, blaming the government, they impose such blame on the airlines.
He declared that the airlines were not responsible for the installation of navigational equipment at airports and stations, across the country, saying that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and FAAN are responsible for these.
For instance, Mshelia said the Instrument Landing Systems (ILSs) and approach lighting in most of the airports are either not calibrated or fitted for flying purposes.
This, he said, led to the downgrading of most of the airports by the NCAA.
Mshelia regretted that despite the development in the global aviation industry and the installation of navigational equipment at airports and stations across the country, harmattan still disrupts flight services in Nigeria.
Mshelia insisted that at 200 metres weather, aeroplanes are supposed to land in Lagos and other major aerodromes across the country, but regretted that the absence of the equipment made this impossible for the operators.