Business aviation traffic at Lagos International Airport has increased almost three-fold over the past couple of years, according to Evergreen Apple Nigeria, which opened the west African country’s first purpose-built FBO in 2011. According to managing director and CEO Segun Demuren, average monthly movements numbered 82 in 2011, but that number this year stands at 220. Now the company competes with ExecuJet Aviation, which opened its own facility at the airport last year. Demuren said that the city accounts for approximately 50 percent of all bizav traffic in Nigeria, with some 35 percent going to the capital Abuja and the rest to oil industry center Port Harcourt and other cities.
Despite the rapid growth, operational challenges remain in Nigeria. Demuren said that securing a landing permit is a six-hour process that requires as many as 25 administrative steps. “It involves heavy paperwork and going literally from one desk to another at the [aviation] authority,” he explained. “Typically you have to start first thing in the morning and it will take until 2 p.m.” Under current regulations FBOs are not officially recognized by Nigerian authorities, creating problems in clearing customs and immigration. Demuren said he hopes pending efforts to establish specific regulations covering business aviation will improve the situation.