Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has declared in strong terms, zero tolerance to flight cancellations/delays that has plagued airline operations within the country.
This declaration was made at the just concluded stakeholder’s forum organised by the Authority at the NCAA annex, Ikeja Lagos.
The forum was attended by 13 International airlines, 8 domestic airlines, and Airport operators – the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services.
During the discussions, officials of the NCAA requested the airlines operators to enumerate their challenges that could be the likely causes of delays and cancellations.
In response, the airlines itemised various challenges amongst which are
- Fuel Supply
- Need for improvement in infrastructure at the airport
- Unruly passengers
- Traffic along airport road etc.
The management of the NCAA and FAAN in their responses, assured the operators that all these challenges will be tackled very soon.
The stakeholders however, jointly agreed that:
- Airlines should be realistic in their flight planning/schedules
- Airlines should always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status
- Airlines to ensure they provide right to care to passengers in times of delays/cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19
- NCAA/FAAN to liaise with FMTA to replace fuel hydrants if the old ones will cost a lot of money to be fixed and the supply points should be connected to the airports
- FAAN/airport operators/owners to ensure facilities at the airports are functional (lightings, carousels, cooling systems etc)
- FMTA to liaise with PPMC on fixing the underground pipeline layout from Apapa to Lagos airport to minimize surface transportation of fuel
- FAAN should beef up security at the airports to prevent unlawful interference
- Airlines’ representatives should be available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force
- The representative of FAAN Management to ensure that action is expedited on the upgrade of lighting on Runway 18L/36R (MMIA).
- Airlines and airport operators should maintain constant Communication
- Airlines should always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19.
- FAAN to ensure that the CCTV cameras are always operational
- Airlines’ inputs should be considered in the design/construction of airports to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past.
- Airlines should develop responsive crisis management systems and file their Operation Disruption Manuals with NCAA as required by law.
- Domestic airlines/operators encouraged to enter into interlining arrangements.
- Requests from stakeholders/airlines for the provision of 24 hours operations at daylight airports should be forwarded to FAAN backed with economic realities on a sustainable level.
Against this backdrop, the regulatory authority said ‘all airlines are therefore warned to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings with passengers, adding that passengers must get value for their money
“While the NCAA and FAAN are doing everything to resolve all the issues enumerated, flight delays and cancellations will not be acceptable”.