The Federal Airport Authority Act Amendment Bill 2021,, to create a special welfare package for people living around airports across Nigeria due to the environmental impact of the flights on their lives. Has passed second reading.
The House of Representatives approved the bill to compensate residents around airports for what they suffer from the noise pollution and emission of the aircraft.
It is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Airports Authority Act, Cap. F5, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Empower the Authority to Recognise the Environmental Challenges facing all the Communities Around Nigerian Airports and Therefore Engage and Involve the Communities in their Development Plans; and for Related Matters.’
Sponsor of the bill, Mr Ganiyu Johnson, in the lead debate, a copy of which our correspondent obtained on Thursday, noted that the proposal is to empower the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria to recognise the “environmental hazard facing the inhabitants of the Nigerian communities around the Nigerian airports due to the noise pollution, air pollution, waste and congestion occasioned by day to day air operation in the airport around their various communities.”
Representing Oshodi/Isolo II Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Johnson, also noted that noise and emission have always been the major environmental issue in the field of aviation, which is primarily impacting residential communities close to airports.
Quoting the World Health Organisation, the lawmaker said it can cause several health-related problems both in the short and long-term such as community annoyance, sleep deprivation, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, heart disease and mental health issues.
“Even though aircraft are becoming less noisy due to important technological improvements, the expected long-term increase in the number of flights – even after the COVID-19 pandemic – means that more effort from all stakeholders to reduce noise and emission in the airport’s surrounding areas will be crucial,” he added.
Johnson further said, “Usually, people living in residential areas around airports are the ones who get affected the most by aircraft noise and emission and therefore they are also the ones who tend to suffer more often from these environmental hazards and are always hungry for quick solutions. The most common complaints are caused by increases in the number of flights, as well as night-time and low-altitude flights.
“Meanwhile, in addition to the above listed problems facing the people living around our airports is air mishap. It is a most traumatic and tragic one. It is a scientific fact that 80 per cent of all plane crashes happen within the first three minutes of takeoff or in the last eight minutes’ prior to landing. This is because during these phases, the airplane is close to the ground and record has shown that most plane crashes in Nigeria happen not far from an airport.”