Aviation critical to South-East economy, development – Experts

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By Emmanuel Uzodinma

Aviation industry experts, on Thursday, described the sector as very critical towards the rapid economic development of the South-East zone.

They spoke during the Aviation Career Meet held at the Coal City University, Enugu, urging all the South-East stakeholders to develop a blueprint towards making the zone an aviation hub in the country.

They observed that the region, as a landlocked area, needed to optimise the use of its airspace to ensure speedy movement of goods and services.

The event was organised by Skyville Integrated Solutions in collaboration with Coal City University, with support from Ethiopian Airline.

The convener and the Chief Executive Officer of Skyville Integrated Solutions, Uche Ugwu, in an address, said that the collaboration with stakeholders was to properly align with International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) objective to cultivate more than 50,000 African aviation professionals in the next two decades.

They said that the aim was to create a new passion for the aviation business among youths, students and professionals across the South-East who will drive the vision of having a flourishing aviation industry in the South East.

“With the Aviation Career Meet, we are creating a platform where these dreams can take root, where talents can be nurtured, and where the aviation industry can flourish.

“Our theme for this year which is ‘inspiring careers furthering aviation for economic development, encapsulates our mission succinctly.

“Today, as we gather here, we do not merely celebrate an event but rather an opportunity, an opportunity to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals and to chart a course towards greater economic development through aviation.

“Together, let us inspire careers, further aviation, and contribute to the economic development of our beloved Enugu State, the South-East region, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole,” he said.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor of Coal City University, Prof Afam Icha-Ituma announced that the school had concluded arrangement to start an aviation management and commercial pilot training programmes, stating that it was prepared to fill the knowledge gap in the industry.

According to him, “For Coal City University, this conference is a useful precursor to the establishment of a world-class aviation management programme and commercial pilot training geared towards producing competent and well qualified personnel for the Nigerian and African aviation industry.

“We appeal to key actors in the aviation industry to consider working with the university to actualise the vision of establishing the proposed aviation management and commercial pilot training programmes in order to produce the much needed highly skilled human resources for the aviation sector in Africa.”

On his part, former Managing Director and CEO NAMA, Nnamdi Udoh, encouraged South East governments and residents to explore limitless opportunities in aviation, revealing that anyone could find an opening in the aviation sector.

He added that, “Aviation is able to give us (South-East) the amount of money we make in oil,” noting that the conference was organised to make Enugu an aviation hub.

Other speakers at the event spoke on the urgent need for a concerted effort towards maximising the potentials of the aviation sector for the growth and development of the South-East region.

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