The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) inaugurated the Aviation Monitoring Committee for 2019 Hajj.  The team is expected, among other duties, to evaluate status of different airports from where Muslim pilgrims will be airlifted to the holy land. They are to make recommendations to NAHCON as well as other air transport agencies on state of readiness of the airports for the airlift. The committee is also expected to evaluate equipment for luggage screening, luggage conveyance and quality of utilities at the airports for use by pilgrims. Additionally, they are to liaise with airports’ authority on provision of standard services for pilgrims similar to what is enjoyed by international travellers. Furthermore, the committee is to liaise with NAHCON’s central security committee to evolve new strategies against human and drug related trafficking during Hajj, to broaden the already existing security measures at the airports.

Inaugurating the committee in NAHCON’s head office on Thursday 9th of April 2019, the Chief Executive 0fficer and Chairman of the commission, Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad reminded the members that their job is instrumental to the success of 2019 Hajj operation considering the fact that airlift comprise a large percentage of the operation. Therefore, their role includes monitoring both inbound and outbound flights, ensuring compliance to airports rules, flight schedules by state pilgrims’ boards as well as airline operators.

Responding, Chairman of the committee who doubles as a NAHCON Board member, Alhaji Aminu Ibrahin Dutse from the Ministry of Aviation, acknowledged the enormity of the task ahead of them. While accepting the assignment, Alhaji Dutse pledged to work hard to realise their mandate as advised by the NAHCON chief.

The nine-man committee comprises aviation professionals drawn from Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), Nigeria Airports Management Authority (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Accident Investigation Bureau and NAHCON aviation specialists. The committee has since begun sitting.

Fatima Sanda Usara