*Representative of the Minister for State for Aviation and Director of Operation and Training at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Sidi Abdullahi; Sales Director, West Africa Commercial Aircraft, Boeing, Mr. Larry Tolliver; Executive Director, Springfountain, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi; Special Guest, Chief Obafemi Olopade and Chairman, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, during the conference Aviation Education Infrastructure: Challenges and Potential, in Lagos

The executive director of Springfountain Infrastructure Ltd, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi has said that the company proposes to invest over $20 million in aircraft leasing, maintenance, repair organisation (MRO), spares logistics and supply and aggregated services solutions.

Speaking at Aviation Education and Aviation Education Infrastructure conference and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Boeing in Lagos today, Fagbemi said such huge investment would require the local skills in diverse fields ranging from piloting, aviation engineering, aviation economics, and aviation law among others.

“We as dynamic Nigerians and as patriotic citizens of this great nation have made Nigeria our first port of call to situate, subject to provision of all the necessary enabling environment, free of the risk of expropriation. We believe that through this venture we would have added our quota to ensure that Nigeria does not lose out, as African aviation is gathering momentum and countries within Africa are repositioning, developing culture, business, economy etc around Aviation and increased intra-continental air connectivity,” she said.

She said she expected the government to be committed to increase primary demand for air travel.

She said Nigeria with a population of 180 million people has 12 million of people travelling domestically and less than five million of flying on the international routes.

“The propensity to travel for Nigeria is 0.12 while the propensity to travel for South Africa is 0.87. If Nigeria is to have 44 million passenger departures per annum, it will require over 100 aircrafts to meet this propensity to travel, Nigeria will need more aircraft.

“To boost its international including intercontinental flight potential, the airlines have to improve in both the quality and quantity of the aircraft. In addition, the aircrafts have to be brand new to be at par with competition within Africa at the least.

“We want to work with government and the aviation industry to bring brand new aircraft which hopefully will bring down the cost of operations for operators and bring down the cost of airfare for passengers in Africa. We therefore call on government to facilitate the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) and the African Union Declaration 2063. The government should work with us to make the aircraft ambassadors to African aviation,” she said.

She said the company was working with the aircraft manufacturer on African Aircraft Leasing Company (AALC), Aircraft OEM Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul (AOMRO), African Aircraft Spares Parts Centre (AASC) and Aggregated Service Solutions Provider (AASP)

Fagbemi added that her company’s key driver is to provide platforms and systems that will reduce the cost per air-seat kilometre (CASK) of its clients.

In line with our strategic motive of providing platforms and systems to drive CASK down for our clients we are in full support and part of the initiative of Aviation and Aerospace Development Foundation (AADF), Boeing, and Springfountain.

“We are delighted to be part of this large family of diverse aviation professionals dimensioning how best to make these dreams and plans a reality goal by looking at aviation education and aviation education infrastructure. This will also go a long way in establishing Nigeria’s leadership in African and global aviation and making Africa great in global aviation.