By Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday said domestic airlines are not folding up but “merely suspending their operations temporarily to enable them undertake certain operational overhaul and strengthen their overall operational outlay.”
FirstNation Airways, the TravelPort learnt, has also stopped operations.
But a statement by the Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman explained that Aerocontractors Ltd., at present has only one serviceable aircraft, adding that this in contradiction to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) which stipulates that no airline operator shall carry out schedule commercial operation with only one aircraft.
Usman noted that the minimum acceptable number is three aircraft.
“In other words, any airline with one aircraft is in contravention of the Authority’s regulations therefore cannot be adjudged to be capable of providing safe operation.The only option available is to suspend your operations temporarily while other aircraft arrive in due course.”
He however, stated that NCAA’s Regulations provides a window for such operator to embark on non schedule operations in the interim.
He disclosed that the First Nation Airlines on its part is in the middle of an Engine Replacement Programme for one of its aircraft, stressing that another aircraft is due for mandatory maintenance as its allowable by the Regulatory Authority.
In these circumstances, these airlines he said clearly cannot continue to undertake schedule operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self regulatory suspension.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to reiterate that on no account will it compromise safety and security of airline operations in the airspace.
Every facet of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) and Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) must be adhered to with due diligence.In addition, everything has been put in place to continue our to ensure compliance.