Meeting the Challenges of Twenty-First Century Civil Aviation: A Review of Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Policy Experience

Umezurike Ikenna Samuel & Adamson Duncan Ganiyu


An examination into Nigeria’s civil aviation policy has become necessary, considering the many challenges facing civil aviation in the country. This situation has questioned the capacity of the legal instruments on aviation to guide the industry. Using qualitative methodology, the study seeks to identify some of the challenges that plague civil aviation in Nigeria and determine whether the Nigerian civil aviation policy and legislation is comprehensive enough to manage these challenges. According to the study, the deregulation policy has done more harm than good by encouraging the sharp practices that exist in the industry. This situation is further exacerbated by many other challenges such as the lack of operational and financial autonomy for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), poor funding of the industry, the Nigerian factor of corruption and lack of maintenance culture, shortage of skilled technical manpower, human error, and poor emergency response system. A review of relevant subsisting civil aviation legislation and policy has shown that international standards and best practices have, been domesticated to an acceptable level. Hence, the Nigerian civil aviation policy and regulations are comprehensive enough to manage the aforementioned challenges. The study recommends that full autonomy should be granted the NCAA, not just on paper but in practice; that adequate sanctions should be meted out to any operator or personnel who flouts safety standards, no matter who is involved; and that international safety provisions not contained in local civil aviation legislation be expressly domesticated.

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