A new National Aviation Policy that will regulate the operation of private jet owners in line with international best practice has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah announced on Wednesday.
Oduah who was briefing correspondents after the weekly Cabinet meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan said government was losing revenue because there were no regulations guiding the activities of about 100 private jets operating in the country.
Justifying the new policy, the minister said the last time it was revised was 11 years ago, saying there was need for a new one that will reflect the reality of modern days as it relates to safety, technology and security in the aviation sector.
In the last 11 years, “several things have taken place. The security situation has changed so the challenges are becoming paramount that we must be in tune with the global standards,” she noted.
The minister spoke further, “we also have to revise the policy to ensure that safety is given utmost importance in the way we do things. It is very paramount that we enhance the technology that we have within our airports.
“When talk about the private jets, as of today we have almost 100 of them and having them we have no law, no policy, no regulation really to make sure they are operating the way they should operate within ICAO laws and aviation policy. But most importantly to be in tandem with global best practice.
“Are they paying what they are supposed to pay? The response is no, they are not, but we want to make sure they pay what they are supposed to pay. These are part of what the policy is addressing,” she explained.
Other highlights of the new policy include the need to promote healthy operators, enhancing infrastructure, improving safety and the need to establish a national carrier that will be private sector- driven.