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Cablegate: Nigeria: Aviation Briefs

VZCZCXRO7978
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0590 2351154
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231154Z AUG 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9360
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9142
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RULSDMK/DOT WASHDC

UNCLAS LAGOS 000590

SIPDIS

PASS TO DOE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV ETRD KIPR PGOV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: Aviation Briefs


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Virgin Nigeria Passes Shell HSE Audit
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1. (SBU) Virgin Nigeria passed the Shell Health, Safety, and
Environment (HSE) Group Audit of Flight Operations and
Airworthiness/Quality in August. Virgin Nigeria representatives said
the airline scored better than Aero Contractors, Arik Air, and
Bristows. A successful outcome in this audit sanctions the use of
the airline by Shell employees. Aviation observers use the outcome
of the audit as a gauge of the airline's safety.

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Lagos to Host IATA BSP for West Africa
--------------------------------------

2. (U) There are indications that the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) plans to launch a billing and settlement plan
(BSP) for West Africa, with headquarters in Lagos. Nigerian office
is expected to be operational by October 2007, when the Government
of Nigeria (GON's) final approval is given. Sources say the business
case was predicated on the fact that Nigeria has 20 airlines, 580
travel agents with a turnover of USD 1.048 billion. Compared to
Ghana with 14 airlines, 65 agents and USD175 million as turnover.

3. (U) Industry watchers expect the BSP to transform the Nigerian
travel industry. It will facilitate and simplify the selling,
reporting and remitting procedures of IATA accredited passenger
sales agents; resulting in a major shift from spot and cash business
in domestic travel to a forward market. It would also facilitate the
implementation of IATA global electronic ticketing policy as the May
2008 deadline draws nearer.

--------------------------------------------- -----
NCAA to Dismantle High Masts Endangering Aircrafts
--------------------------------------------- -----
4. (U) Local press reported the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority
(NCAA's) plan to pull down high masts blocking the airspace. Quoting
an August 6 statement of the Agency, telecom companies were given 7
days to remove masts installed along aircraft routes that could
undermine air safety. With the expiration of the deadline, the NCAA,
according to the statement, will dismantle the masts of defaulting
telecom companies at the companies' expense.
5. (U) The directive was based on pilots' frequent complaints of
obstruction during take off and landing at airports across the
country. No telecom company was available to comment.

McConnell

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