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British Airways To Partner With Nigeria To Develop Commercial Aviation

Airline CEO Describes Nigeria As An 'Important Market'

Following a closed-door meeting with Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo, held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, British Airways CEO Keith Williams said that the airline will work with the Nigerian government on the aviation piece of its Transformation Agenda.

The Nigerian news organization Leadership reports on its website that Williams said that British Airways has operated in that country for 76 years, and it remains an "important market" for the carrier. "As Nigeria's economy grows ... British Airways will grow with Nigeria," he told reporters following the meeting.

Williams reportedly said that the aviation industry was being well managed in Nigeria, but that it needs to bolster both its domestic and regional aviation infrastructure. Williams did not say specifically what the partnership would mean for the airline, or what assistance they might be offering.

The country apparently is working towards building the infrastructure, as evidenced by a speech to the first meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Navigation (NION) by John Onyegiri, General Manager, Safety Management Systems/Quality Assurance of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). Onyegiri was speaking on behalf of Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh.

The Nigerian newspaper The Guardian reports that Udoh has called on the country's aviation industry to upgrade all of its domestic aircraft with Performance Based Navigation (PBN) systems. Onyegiri said that 25 airports have been calibrated for GNSS implementation. Abuja Babatunde Rabiu, Deputy Director at the National Space Research and Development Agency, said that the existing infrastructure should not be dismantled entirely, but maintained as a backup to space-based navigation systems that could be affected by such phenomena as geomagnetic storms and other space weather.

FMI: www.nama.gov.ng, www.britishairways.com

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