2021 LAAC Conference Yields Results On Handling Charge Management, Regulation
35 years after the ground handling companies in Nigeria operated static handling rates, the Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has approved new “safe¬ty threshold ground handling charges,” for the sub-sector.
This is coming barely two months after the poor management and regulation of handling charges constituted part of discussions at the 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airport & Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, July 28, 2021.
It could be recalled that at that event with the theme, Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy & Regulation, the umbrella body of ground handling companies in Nigeria, the Association of Ground Han¬dling Company of Nigeria (AGHAN) made a presentation, which triggered an emphatic discussion on the need for government to help the sub-sector by intervening on poor handling charges.
With this approval, the ground handling companies in Nigeria, the Nigerian Avi¬ation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, the Skyway Aviation Handling Compa¬ny (SAHCO) Plc, Precision Aviation Handling Company Limited (PAHCOL) and the Swissport Handling Compa¬ny, can now charge the same handling rates as their coun¬terparts in the sub-African countries.
AGHAN has commended Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation and Capt. Musa Nuhu and the Director-Gener¬al of NCAA for saving the sub-sector from extinction, saying that before the approv¬al, activities in the handling sector were nearing collapse.
Speaking yesterday on the new price regime for handlers during an interview with aviation journalists, Nuhu said: “These charges were done after consultation with all the operators, the airlines, the ground handlers. NCAA did not just wake up over night and pull figures out in the air. We had consultative meetings. So. all the parties involved partook in that meeting. It is ridiculous. Why should I be charging $400 in Nigeria while my neighbours in other countries are charging $4000 dollars and you expect the ground handlers to give you the same service? Its not feasible and these charges are a reflection of what is on the ECOWAS region.”
Nuhu added that “there was significant consultation that included the foreign airlines, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the Nigerian domestic operators and also, the association of ground handlers. At the consultative meeting, we agreed. We went through the Ministry, They agreed and we implemented as agreed by all parties.”