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Cablegate: Nigeria: Usg Led Civil Aviation Private Public Partnership

VZCZCXRO9923
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #2313/01 3310810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260810Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4546
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 0330
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002313

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS TO USTR- AGAMA; USTDA - FITTS/MARIN; EXIM - JRICHTER; AND
USAID AFR/SD FOR MICHAEL CURTIS
DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR FAA MEL CINTRON

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON EAID ASEC ERTD PREL NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: USG LED CIVIL AVIATION PRIVATE PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP
MOVES SECTOR FORWARD

REF: ABUJA 2207

1. Summary. The U.S. Mission led a public private partnership (PPP)
aviation workshop on November 17-18 with the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority (NCAA) and the Boeing Company to catapult Nigeria one step
closer to attaining U.S. Federal Aviation Authority Category 1
status. The workshop rallied industry stakeholders and put them to
work to create a first draft industry needs assessment in the eight
critical areas necessary to attain Category 1 status. This first
ever stakeholders session on the Nigerian aviation sector will lead
to better coordination, improved safety and security and possibly
Category 1 status in the future. End Summary.

2. In an effort to assist Nigeria in attaining its Category 1 status
from the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the Ambassador led a
workshop of all aviation stakeholders that took place on November
17-18, 2008. The public private partnership (PPP) included the USG,
NCAA and the Boeing Company; and sponsor support from- Arik Air,
Chanchangi Airlines, Union Bank, United Bank For Africa (UBA),
Zenith Bank, and Aerocontractors Airline. It was hailed as the
first ever industry stakeholder meeting on Nigerian Aviation
Sector.

3. Over 200 industry reps attend the workshop. In her opening
remarks, the Ambassador told the audience that it is not just the
Nigerian government (GON) that is responsible for attaining Category
1, but it takes all the operators, service providers, and other
industry stakeholders to participate and work together.

4. The event was centered on four concurrent workshops over two
days. The workshop sessions had presentations from industry reps,
briefings on the status of the industry, and suggestions on how to
overcome obstacles. The four workshop titles were Safety and
Security with concentration on Regulatory Oversight; Aviation
Infrastructure; Aviation Environment with concentration on the
Challenges of the Nigerian Operators; and Manpower
Requirements/Human Capacity. Each workshop examined the eight key
areas necessary to attain Category 1 status:
-- Legislation;
-- Regulation;
-- Civil air authority structure and oversight functions;
-- Technical guidance;
-- Qualified technical personnel;
-- Licensing and certification;
-- Continued surveillance obligations;
-- Resolution of safety issues.

NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS IDENTIFIED BY EACH OF THE WORKSHOPS
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. All four workshops identified needs, and requirements, and some
attempted to develop action plans toward resolutions. NCCA Director
Harold Demuren told EconOff that he will ask the USG to assist NCAA
with continuing committee workshops to be held in both Abuja and
Lagos in order to operationalize industry cooperation.

6. In the safety and security workshop participants agreed on the
following top seven areas to focus on:
-- Shortage of skilled manpower across the aviation sector.
-- Encourage open and voluntary reporting and sharing of safety
information.
--Improved implementation of safety management systems.
-- Search and Rescue.
-- Improving inaccurate meteorological forecast data.
-- Improving poor communications, especially from airport to
airport.
--Bird strike.

7. In the aviation infrastructure workshop participants agreed on
the following top seven areas to focus on:
-- Legislation to encourage public private partnerships.
-- Greater commitment from the GON to follow agreements.
-- The GON should complete an economic, financial, and social
airports reappraisal within the framework of a comprehensive master
plan.
-- Develop and implement a privatization policy for all airports.
-- Regular routine maintenance and replacement budgets need to be
developed and funded.
-- Maintenance should be part of the terms and conditions of all PPP
agreements.
-- Implementing internationally recognized maintenance standards.

8. In the manpower /human capacity workshop participants agreed on
the following top seven areas to focus on:
-- Federal and State governments must encourage setting up

ABUJA 00002313 002 OF 002


comprehensive scholarship schemes.
-- Introduce apprentice programs in the aviation industry.
-- Encourage training of women in the sector.
-- Sensitize the aviation industry on the utilization of the
Education Trust Fund (ETF).
-- The Minister of Aviation should lead the development of
mechanisms and methodology to enable access to the ETF through
partnership banks, airlines, and other agencies.
-- Request USG assistance in human capacity development in the
aviation sector.
-- More attention and better recruiting for the Nigerian College of
Aviation Technology in Zaria.

9. In the environment-operator challenges workshop participants
agreed on the following top seven areas to focus on.
-- Navigational charges for domestic operations.
-- Excessive wildlife and foreign object damage (FOD) incidents
placing extra costs on airlines. (NOTE: Foreign object damage or
foreign object debris is a substance, debris or article alien to the
vehicle or system which would potentially cause damage. END NOTE)
-- Airport and sundry taxes should be reduced.
-- Import duties and value added taxes (VAT) too high.
-- Low level of consumer protection.
-- Market preservation/protection for Nigerian airline operator
certificate holders (AOC) is a necessity.
-- Unlimited tenure for foreign registered aircraft domiciled in
Nigeria.

10. COMMENT. Despite last minute wavering by the GON, the workshop
was enthusiastically supported by all participants. All of the
relevant stakeholders were involved in the planning and will be
prominently featured in the "way forward." Next steps have been
outlined and there is a real opportunity to move the sector forward
by increasing safety, security and establishing Category 1 status.
END COMMENT.

11. This cable was coordinated with Consulate Lagos.

SANDERS

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