The Flight Dispatcher Association of Nigeria, FLIDAN, has called for a comprehensive investigation into the diversion of United Nigeria Airline flights bound for Abuja to Asaba International Airport on Sunday, November 26, 2023.
FLIDAN, in a statement by its General Secretary, Victoria Adegbe, is urging the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to scrutinize the airline’s operational control, expressing concerns about potential breaches undermining the authority of Flight Dispatchers.
Emphasizing the importance of a thorough inquiry, FLIDAN is particularly critical of the airline’s suspension of the Flight Dispatcher, raising apprehensions regarding compliance with aviation law.
According to FLIDAN, the Flight Dispatcher adhered to Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, Part 8-Operations, by submitting a detailed flight plan to the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), outlining departure from Lagos, destination Abuja, and alternative routes.
FLIDAN asserts that weather documentation supported the planned route to Abuja, and the pilot, after requesting clearance from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, unexpectedly received approval for the deviation to Asaba.
This deviation is viewed by FLIDAN as a breach of the Flight Dispatcher’s operational control, violating safety protocols outlined in regulations.
FLIDAN argues that ATC should not have granted clearance for a destination not specified in the filed flight plan.
Furthermore, FLIDAN contends that the airline’s practice of allowing pilots to generate their flight plans constitutes a violation of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR) Part 8.
The violations extend to the failure to carry essential documents, including the flight plan, dispatch release, and load manifest, as mandated by NCAR.
FLIDAN calls on ATC to review clearance regulations to ensure strict adherence to filed flight plans.