NCAA denies airlines fold up, exit claims

By Abimbola Fashakin, Lagos

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has dismissed claims that some airlines were either winding down or exiting their operations from the country.

In a statement signed by the NCAA’s Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, in Lagos on Thursday, the organisation stated that rather the airlines were merely suspending their operations temporarily to enable them undertake certain operational overhaul and strengthen their overall operational outlay.

According to Usman, “One of the airlines, Aero Contractors Ltd., at present has only one serviceable aircraft. This is in contradiction to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) which stipulates that no airlines operator shall carry out schedule commercial operation with only one aircraft.

“The minimum acceptable number is three aircraft. In other words, any airlines with one aircraft is in contravention of the NCAA regulations, therefore cannot be adjudged to be capable of providing safe operation.

“The only option available for such airlines is to suspend its operations temporarily while other aircraft arrive in due course.”

Usman, however, said that NCAAs Regulations provided a window for such operator to embark on non schedule operations in the interim.

He explained further that the First Nation Airlines on its part was in the middle of an Engine Replacement Programme for one of its aircraft.

“Another aircraft is due for mandatory maintenance as is allowable by NCAA. In these circumstances, these airlines clearly cannot continue to undertake schedule operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self regulatory suspension.” He said.

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