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Concerns over unauthorised charter aircraft operations

Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

There is raging concern over unauthorised charter aircraft operations by some aircraft owners, Daily Trust can report.

This has prompted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday to threaten to wield the big stick over charter operations by unauthorised permit holders forthwith.

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Our correspondent reports that the threat issued by NCAA followed recent unauthorised charter operations by aircraft owners without the requisite permit to carry out such services.

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 18.2.3.1. states that “No person shall use any aircraft in Nigeria for hire and reward in public transport category to provide nonscheduled  or charter air service unless such a person holds an ATL  or Airline Operating Permit (AOP) issued by the authority.”

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The General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said yesterday that any operator caught engaging in such unauthorised services will have its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) suspended or revoked.

“Consequently, the general public is hereby reminded that holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with valid AOC are the only authorised operators to carry out charter operations,” he said.

Adurogboye said this is in line with the NCAA statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the general public and that of the investors in the aviation sector.

The authority warned that any member of the public transacting business with any unauthorised operators will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations as violation(s) will be viewed seriously”, he added.

Commenting on the development, aviation analyst, retired Group Capt. John Ojikutu, challenged NCAA to name violators among the operators.

“What is wrong if the NCAA publishes the names of the authorised and non-authorised operators? What is wrong if the NCAA publishes the names of violators? To me, there seems to be some manner of cover-up for some violators of regulations,” he said.

He noted that the private aircraft operators might want to take advantage of electioneering to embark on “hire and reward” operations to make quick money.

“Moreover, electioneering campaigns are getting to high level and chartered flights are expected to be increasing in number, too, possibly higher than they had been in the last two years and so should be the chartered service charges due to NCAA,” he said.

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