The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, says, it is gross political interference for the National Assembly to dictate to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA who or not to issue an Air Operators Certificate, AOC.
They said, the directive by the House Committee on Aviation to the NCAA to suspend the issuance of AOC to NG Eagle was an infringement on the autonomy of the NCAA and should be condemned in its entirety.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, President of NAAPE, Engr. Abednego Galadinma said, the NCAA is empowered to regulate aviation in Nigeria without political interference and the regulatory Authority should be allowed to carry out its function in line with international best practices.
He warned individuals under the guise of unions not to toy with the autonomy of the NCAA using the National Assembly as it would have catastrophic consequences if such developments are allowed to continue.
“The contention on whether NCAA should give NG Eagle an AOC or not is very unnecessary and uncalled for. We sew it clearly as an attempt to politically influence the NCAA’s decision on what is clearly a technical process which have outlined requirements and procedures that guides them in determining suitability or otherwise”.
According to Galadinma, the action of the House Committee members amounted to gross political interference and is counterproductive and fell short of global best practices.
“This have grave consequences on aviation sector particularly now that the industry is counting her losses occasioned by the negative impact of covid-19 and badly need huge investments inflows to recover fully. It is import to bring to the fore that Nigeria will soon face ICAO audit and practices like this have the potential to make us under perform. It can also cause us to lose our category one status as a nation”.
The body called on the NCAA Director General to expedite action in concluding the process of issuing the AOC to NG Eagle and grant same because information available to them shown that they have met all requirements as stipulated by the regulations.
The NAAPE President said, NG Eagle was a good initiative by AMCON and deserved to be given fair deal and not unnecessary encumbrances, adding that, the body commend AMCON for saving thousands of jobs in the industry through their interventions in Arik and AeroContractors Ltd.
“We are in full support of AMCON initiatives to float NG Eagle because we believe that it will further guarantee jobs for our members and create more opportunities for the teeming unemployed pilots and aircraft engineers among others while rendering services”.