Nigerian Airlines Oppose Helicopter Landing Fee, Cite Lack of Legal Basis

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The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), representing local airline operators, has opposed the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s (NAMA) imposition of a landing fee on helicopter operators. The group argues that NAMA provides no additional services to helicopter operators to justify this fee.

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Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has since called for the suspension of the new levy following outcry within the aviation industry. Keyamo has also established a committee to evaluate the appropriateness of the new levy.

AON highlighted that imposing the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee at private helipads and oil rig platforms, where no services are rendered by NAMA, violates section 7 (1) (r) of the NAMA Act and section 1, paragraph 2(1) of ICAO Document 9082.

AON spokesperson, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, stated that NAMA failed to follow the guidelines in ICAO Documents 9082 and 9161 before implementing the fee. AON further pointed out that the fee, charged in US dollars, contradicts section 15 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which stipulates the Naira as the unit of currency in Nigeria.

Okonkwo also criticized the engagement of Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited, which was tasked with fee collection, for not adhering to the Public Procurement Act’s requirements. He noted that this issue began in 2018 when Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited proposed the fee, which was subsequently dismissed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) due to a lack of legal framework.

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