Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Thursday, gave itself pass mark as stakeholders assessed safety and security performance of aviation agencies in the last four years.
At the 2nd quarter of 2018 quarterly business breakfast meeting organised by Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) in Lagos, director general of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, in his presentation said the Authority will not rest on its oars as it aims to sustain the zero accident that has been recorded for the third year in a row.
He said from October 2014 through December 2017, total of 90 sanctions were applied, adding that 15 pilots were sanctioned while 5 cabin crew members were also sanctioned in what he described as moves to sanitise the industry.
He added that under the same period, four engineers were sanctioned, the Authority suspended one private security outfit while 4 approved Maintenance Organizations (AMO) were sanctioned.
“Five airlines were also sanctioned, there is no going back on enforcement’, he said.
Usman, who was represented by the director of Consumer Protection Directorate, Adamu Abdullahi, was quick to remind participants that all these and many other important steps taken to improve safety culminated in the sustenance of USA-Federal Aviation Authority Category 1 status, which has continued to put the sector on a high pedestal.
He added that during the same period under review, the NCAA ensured the certification of Lagos and Abuja airports while Kano and Port Harcourt are next in line.
According to him, there was also the review of weather minima in 18 airports, recertification of 86 heliports/helidecks and helipads while the Authority received 29 Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) applications.
According to Usman, ‘three airlines were issued AOC, 11 airlines renewed their AOC, others are at various stages of processing. There are 25 foreign airlines flying into Nigeria presently.
“507 screening personnel from various entities were certified, 80 aviation security instructors have been certified by NCAA to deliver security training in Nigeria, four NCAA and other aviation security instructors have been trained on counter terrorism while the Authority has received 90 applications for registration of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS)”.
While calling for all hands to be on deck, the NCAA boss said 2018 is the regulatory agency’s year of consolidation as it plans to build on the gains of 2017.
“Airline operations must be safe, safety and security are crucial, NCAA is ready for projected multiplicity of air travellers, zero accident must be sustained, staff training and retraining are paramount apart from strengthening consumer protection”, he added.
The Authoroty, he said is targeting increased passenger confidence in the air transport sector, sustaining the zero accident and continuous oversight and safety surveillance for improved safety.
“We are also targeting migration of licenses to card type with biometric features while the 23 airports would be Performance Based Navigation(PBN) compliant”.
Meanwhile, President of ASRT, Elder Gabriel Olowo, called for the review of ‘two aircraft for freshers’ standard, adding that such was not healthy for the sector.
Another stakeholder, Mr. Chris Aligbe, called for total sanity in the system. He said issues such as ‘airline owner’ syndrome has done more harm to the airlines than other policies, calling for professionalism in all strictness.