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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Reps Probe Airport Conditions, High Domestic Airfares, Flight Cancellations

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The House of Representatives has directed Committees on Aviation, Commerce and Human Rights to investigate the state of Nigerian airports.

Others are the activities of airline operators and the coordinating/regulatory agencies in the aviation sector.

Hon Simon Karu, representing Gombe’s Kaltungo/Shongom constituency, moved the motion titled: “Need to investigate the poor performance and high charges by airlines operators in Nigeria”.
He lamented regular domestic flight disruptions contrary to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) regulations and in contravention of the international standards.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) added that the burden of air travellers had increased owing to around a 100 per cent increase in local airfares.

Karu lamented that Nigeria had the most expensive price regimes of local airfares, with a return trip for an economy class ticket now going for about N100,000.

The lawmaker accused local airline operators of exploiting Nigerians with exorbitant charges, stating the situation was inimical to consumer protection principles.

Karu decried the shutdown of automated common user check-in platforms at international airports, leading to chaotic scenes and the use of alternative platforms by foreign airlines to screen and check-in passengers.

He described the expiration of the 10-year contract between the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and with foreign automation firm, State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

Karu said the exorbitant domestic airfares, breakdown of critical infrastructure and cancellation of flights have caused air travellers discomfort, requiring attention and investigation.

“That is a very, very good motion. In fact, we have all witnessed these things”, said Speaker Femi Gbajabiamiala.
The mandated committees were given eight weeks to submit their report to the House.

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