NCAA dismisses airlines fold up claims

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Thursday dismissed claims that some airlines were winding down their operations in the country.

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The authority dismissed the claims in a statement signed by the NCAA Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, in Lagos.

Usman said on the contrary, the airlines were merely suspending their operations temporarily to enable them undertake certain operational overhaul and strengthen their overall operational outlay.

“One of the airlines, Aero Contractors Ltd., at present has only one serviceable aircraft.

“This is in contradiction to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) which stipulates that no airlines operator shall carry out schedule commercial operation with only one aircraft.

“The minimum acceptable number is three aircraft.

“In other words, any airlines with one aircraft is in contravention of the NCAA regulations, therefore cannot be adjudged to be capable of providing safe operation.

“The only option available for such airlines is to suspend its operations temporarily while other aircraft arrive in due course,” he said.

Usman, however, said that NCAAs Regulations provided a window for such operator to embark on non schedule operations in the interim.

He explained further that the First Nation Airlines on its part was in the middle of an Engine Replacement Programme for one of its aircraft.

“Another aircraft is due for mandatory maintenance as is allowable by NCAA.

“In these circumstances, these airlines clearly cannot continue to undertake schedule operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self regulatory suspension.”

The director general said NCAA wished to reiterate that on no account would it compromise safety and security of airlines operations in the airspace.

Usman explained that every facet of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) and Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) must be adhered to with due diligence.

He explained that everything had been put in place to continue ensuring compliance.

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