The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, has disclosed that the forthcomimg ACI conference will be focusing on how to make Nigerian airports commercially viable in order to sustain their operations.

Dunoma, while speaking in an interview with journalists, stated that the theme is ‘Business transformation for sustainable development of African airports. “What we want to do is to look at how we can make our airports commercially viable in order to sustain our operations.

He noted in the past airports were developed by government.

“Before this time, you will recall that most African airports were developed by government and they were not commercial. Even in Nigeria, until recently, we collect subvention from government to run the airports but from the evolution of airport management, what is happening all over, airports are self-funded.

ACI is looking at how to assist airports to sustain businesses in order to make sure they pay for their cost of running. So, we will talk to experts on what are the best practices or what we need to do in order to make our airports self-sustaining.

Speaking on the over all benefits of the conference, he stated “This conference is going to bring experts from all over the world and they are going to participate. They will deliver one lecture or the other. They will participate in discussions. There will be meetings; there will be one-on-one interactions. All these arrangements are being made.

The entire conference offers these opportunities. The advantage to Nigeria is that we can go there in numbers. All the operators in Nigeria are invited. They can come and listen to these experts and take home what they want to take home.

The other thing is that once the conference starts, it is business throughout. Exhibitors will be there. So anyone that has a particular interest will now look at the programme and choose which one to key into and take advantage of it.

Manufacturers will be there; they will come and exhibit their products. There will be other issues on security and safety. Usually, the emphases are on safety and security but this time round, we will divert a little bit to commercial – the sustainability of business in African airports. We will make sure experts talk to us in this field. There will still be a lot of safety and security issues that will be discussed in the conference