Stakeholders in the aviation industry in Africa are meeting in Abuja to address hindrances to the projected commencement of the Single African Air Transport Market, SAATM.
SAATM is a project by aviation handlers in Africa to create a boisterous market for more flight operations within Africa at very affordable prices.
The Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission, AfCAC,. Mrs. Adeyemi Adefunke said Nigeria stand to benefit massively from the project as it is estimated to earn over $7 billion with the full implementation of the SAATM project.
The Single African Air Transport Market, is an off shoot from the Yamoussoukro Decision by 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air market.
The Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission, AfCAC,. Mrs. Adeyemi Adefunke whose agency bears the brunt of the project said removal of physical and non-physical hindrances by state governments was critical to the success of a viable aviation market in Africa.
According to her, the project is expected to birth in 2025, would, boost economy, ease air transport and help aviation deficiency countries grow.
“Nigeria has been forecasted to keep growing at 3.3% annually. Full implementation of SAATM however, could increase that to 5.1%.”
“The industry would contribute some US$1.3 billion to GDP. That number would rise to US$7.2 billion when factoring the induced and indirect catalytic effects of tourism”
The Chairman, Airport Council International-Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Chavez, acknowledged the professional deficiencies in African airports but expressed hope that it would be addressed with the comming of SAATM.
The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu said Civil aviation in Nigeria was committed to the project with access to airlines to operate the fifth freedom traffic that is enabling airlines take three consecutive trip to three airlines.
The Minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in his opening speech read by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole promised to support the programme to build a stronger air transport market in sub-Saharan Africa.
Radio Nigeria reports that the stakeholders meeting of the SAAM Pilot Implementation Project Is being held in Nigeria as it considered to have the most potentials to drive the SAATM Project.
Reporting by Adaku Ene; Editing by Julian Osamoto