The Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Transportation, Susan Mcdermott, has emphasised the need to develop the Nigerian aviation industry in a safe, secure and efficient order to open up the economy of the nation to new investors and showcase the potential of the industry.
Mcdermott, who led a delegation from the Department of Transportation from the United States Consulate, Nigeria, said this during a courtesy visit to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s Headquarters in Lagos.
The DOT official advised the Authority to give priority to security and safety in its plans to build new airports and terminals and to remodel the old ones.
She said, “The need to be able to network in a safe, secure and efficient manner is germane to the development of any economy,”
She lauded the recent efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan at turning around the fortunes of the nation’s airports. The DOT official who expressed delight at the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration admitted that the Nigerian aviation market was a major player in the world’s aviation community.
Mcdermott noted that the DOT was impressed with the increasing passengers and aircraft traffic across the nation’s airports, a development which, she revealed, prompted its curiosity about the Authority’s plans to make adequate provisions in terms of infrastructure.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi, who was represented by the Authority’s Director of Security Services, Mr. Wendell Ogunedo, expressed appreciation to the DOT for partnering with his organisation in its developmental efforts at the airports. He also thanked the United States Consulate, for its seamless facilitation of the travel documents of FAAN staff who travelled to the United States for training programmes in the recent past.
The FAAN boss, who reiterated the resolve of the federal government to uplift the nation’s airports to international standard, noted that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, has approved the remodeling of 11 airports, in the first phase of the transformation programme.