By Sade Williams
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, on Monday assured Nigerians that the country will retain the Category one status awarded to the aviation sector by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2010, saying the NCAA was fully ready for the audit exercise.
He stated this as a team from the US-FAA today, commenced the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) of Nigeria’s aviation sector.
While briefing Aviation Correspondents on the FAA audit, at the regulatory body’s headquarter, Aviation House, Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos, he said the Agency was not only ready for the exercise but that it has done a lot to ensure safety in the industry, adding that that so much has been done in the areas of Personnel Licensing, international operations and airworthiness.
The four-man team from FAA, he said would be in the country for five days, after which they would go back and make their reports.
Usman recalled that Nigeria first achieved FAA Category one in 2010 and that the country retained the feat in 2014, adding that hopefully Nigeria would retain it again.
“We got FAA Category 1 in 2010,retained it in 2014.We hope that with the efforts we have put in ,we would be able to retain it this time around”, he said.
The NCAA boss added that during the audit , the FAA team will visit one of the airlines at the instance of audit team.
The FAA team include : Louis Avez (Team Leader) International Technical Support,Benjamin Garrido-Frontline Manager,Airworthiness,Africa, Carribean,Middle East,South America, William Amos-Aviation Safety Inspector and LP Vanstory -Manager, International Affairs Branch
On Arik Air that suspended its operations to the United States after the takeover of the airline by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) in February, Usman, stated that the airline suspended its operations as a result of the re-organisation going on in the company, adding that once Arik Air meets NCAA and FAA requirements, it would be allowed to begin operations.