The bill which will allow people living around airports across Nigeria to start receiving special welfare packages has been approved by the Federal House of Representatives.
Naija News understands that the development is meant to compensate the airport neighbours for the air pollution and loud noise they endure when planes are in operation.
The Federal Airport Authority Act Amendment Bill 2021 was assented to on Thursday after passing second reading at the house.
The bill 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,’ was sponsored by Mr Ganiyu Johnson, in the leadership debate.
Naija News understands that a section of the bill explained that the proposal is to empower the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria to recognise the environmental impact people living around the Nigerian airports suffer.
Some of these are noted to include noise pollution, air pollution, waste and congestion occasioned by day to day air operation in the airport around their various communities.”
Johnson, who is representing Oshodi/Isolo II Federal Constituency in Lagos State, 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 the pollutions are harmful to human health, adding that 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.
The lawmaker explained further that, “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.”