Airline Operators Applaud Government’s Decision To Halt Helicopter Landing Fee


Airline operators in Nigeria have welcomed the Government’s decision to halt the $300 charge for helicopter landings. The move, praised by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), is seen as a positive step for the aviation industry.


The suspension of the fee was announced by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, following pressure from industry stakeholders. AON spokesperson, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, expressed gratitude for the decision, highlighting its potential to support the growth and sustainability of aviation operators.


The controversial levy, imposed by Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited since 2018, required payments in dollars for helicopter landings and take-offs. However, this contradicted regulations set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), sparking opposition from industry players.


Critics argued that regulatory bodies such as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) did not provide sufficient justification for the fee. The NCAA, for instance, stated that it did not offer additional services to helicopter operators warranting such charges.


Furthermore, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) was deemed not to provide services at locations like oil rig platforms or private helipads, where the fee was imposed. This lack of service provision raised questions about the legitimacy of the levy under both national and international aviation regulations.


The suspension of the fee aligns with the principles of consultation, transparency, and non-discrimination outlined in aviation regulations. Industry stakeholders had voiced concerns about the lack of consultation by NAMA with helicopter operators and other relevant parties before implementing the fee.


Despite previous efforts to justify the levy, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NAMA and Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited, the decision to suspend the fee reflects a recognition of the concerns raised by industry players. Moving forward, stakeholders anticipate a more consultative approach to regulatory decisions in the aviation sector.

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