… Authority seeks regular interaction with operators
By Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has fined Lyxor International, a non – schedule general aviation operator the sum of N9.5 million for violating terms of flight clearance.
A statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, NCAA spokesman says ‘the action by the Regulatory Authority was a consequence of the operator severally violating the terms of its approved flight clearances for non – scheduled international air services.
According to the Letter of Sanction written to the airline, NCAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) on the 16th February, 2017, during a routine Ramp Inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.
“Therefore, upon this discovery, the aircraft with registration marks T7-YES was immediately grounded by the Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja.
“However, the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3, 000,000 on volitional condition on account of possible civil sanction. This was in addition to an undertaken to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation”, he said.
According to the sanction letter, the NCAA said, ‘after due consideration of your response to our Letter of Investigation (LOI), it was found unsatisfactory. We found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between the 11th of December, 2016 and the 15th of February, 2017.
“Therefore, in accordance with IS 220.127.116.11. Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015) you are hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-schedule international air services. This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500, 000 per violation.
The airline it said, ‘is hereby required to pay the sum of N6, 500,000 (i.e. N500, 000 x 13).For the thirteen times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.
“In addition, for the sixth times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3, 000,000 (i.e.N500, 000 x 6).
“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6, 500,000 having made a deposit of N3, 000,000 towards possible sanctions. The airline is expected to pay these fines within seven days of receipt of this letter.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, has advocated for regular interactions between the Regulatory Authority and all Airline Operators of Nigeria. (AON).
He made this call during a meeting penultimate week with the airline operators at his Aviation House office.
The meeting was importantly to discuss various issues affecting the aviation industry and proffer ways to build on the laudable gains so far.
Among the issues that were deliberated upon was the directive by the NCAA to the airlines to meet the deadline to join the automation platform for seamless remittance of 5% ticket and cargo sales charge.
Others are, that airlines should take advantage of the window of Billing Settlement Plan (BSP), Simulator training, Aircraft Inspection etc.
At the end of the meeting, the DG thanked all present and reiterated that all airline operations must be carried out within the ambit of the law.
There was a consensus that the meeting should be a monthly affair – to be held precisely every last Wednesday of every month.
All the schedule commercial airlines attended the meeting led by the AON Chairman, Capt. Nogie Meggison while all NCAA Directors were present.