The Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu has described some state airports as waste of funds and misplacement of resources by state governments.
He said many of the airports built by some state government are not viable, noting that some of them are idle after huge resources have been spent on them, describing such as misplacement of priority because such funds could have been spent to meet the critical needs of the people of the states involved.
He said that building an airport follows detailed process, but unfortunately some state government do not study the viability of such airports before they embark on the projects.
“There are two processes of building airports. First is the policy side which the Ministry gives. So, if a state governor wants to build an airport in his state, he writes to the Minister.
The Ministry will form a committee, comprising the aerodrome department of the Ministry, NCAA will be part of it, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will also be part of it.
“They go through the feasibility study of the airport. They go visit the site, and initially these things are perfect. They have a good business case, everything is okay. The committee comes back, recommends to the Minister, the Minister gives approval, it comes to NCAA, we start building the airport, it gets to 70 per cent completion and then everything falters. There are quite a few number of airports that were built but they have not even met the requirements, so much money has been spent on them, but they have not reached the minimum requirement or even done initial test flights,” he said.
Nuhu frowned at the fact that while these airports lead to waste of state government resources; they also push the aviation agencies like NCAA, NAMA, FAAN and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) into spending huge resources recruiting personnel, training them and providing logistics to manage these airports.
“The unfortunate part that people don’t see, is that many a times these state governments handover the management of these airports to FAAN.
“But what you don’t see, because there are more airports, NCAA has to have more aerodrome inspectors. It is a burden on me, because it is a airport, so we must inspect it and make sure it is okay, ” he lamented.