Critically appraise state of aviation in ECOWAS region – Gbeho

Mr James Victor Gbeho, President of the ECOWAS Commission, has urged the meeting of experts in aviation and ECOWAS ministers of transport to critically assess the current state of the air industry in the region.

“We need to define a bold vision of cooperation and integration in West Africa in order to make them survive and prosper in the coming years” he said.

Mr Gbeho said this on Monday at a meeting of aviation experts and ministers of transport in the ECOWAS sub-region.

He said the meeting, which started on October 21, had been necessitated by the fact that air transport was becoming a major problem for the free movement of persons, goods and services in the sub-region adding that it was important for the air industry to be robust in order to give meaning to the ECOWAS Protocol on the free movement of persons, goods and services.

Mr Gbeho said in the context of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, it is necessary to develop a sound and seamless regional air transport system with the capacity to deliver safe, reliable, efficient and affordable service and which is well connected within West Africa and fully integrated within the global network.

He said such an air industry is a prerequisite to ensure an accelerated development of member states through the easier access to airspace within the ECOWAS community, foster greater inter-regional trade and ensure efficient service delivery.

He said the challenges facing the West African air transport industry include high tariffs, inadequate infrastructure, poor air safety and weak cooperation among West African airlines.

Source: GNA

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