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NCAA Clarifies Air Operator Certificate Process, Debunks Misinformation

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a statement to clarify the air operator certificate (AOC) process and debunk misinformation circulating in the media.

The statement, signed by Capt. Chris Najomo, Acting Director-General of NCAA, was in response to a recent write-up that propagated falsehoods about the AOC process. 

The write-up claimed that the prevalence of illegal charter operations in Nigeria was due to “diluted, pervasive air operating licenses” and that the NCAA’s regulatory oversight was inadequate.

“The action taken by NCAA above is part of its mandate to ensure compliance with the civil aviation law establishing it and the attendant regulations. In order to sanitize the sector, NCAA re-affirms its stance to rid the industry of illegal Charter Operators who might have inspired this publication”. 

“The accusation that the prevalence of illegal charters is due to “diluted, pervasive air operating licenses in the various, confusing Civil Aviation Acts” is rather an unflyable alibi for the continuous perpetration of the said illegal operations. Who amongst these operators does not know the difference between, or the intent of, private operation and commercial operation even from the permit being referred to in this write up (PNCF)?”.

The NCAA refuted these claims, stating that the suspension of the Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) of 10 private jet operators was a result of the Authority’s efforts to sanitize the sector and rid it of illegal charter operators.

The statement emphasized that the NCAA’s primary mandate is to ensure compliance with the Civil Aviation Act 2022 and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) 2023. 

It reiterated that the AOC process is designed to ensure the safety of air travelers and that the issuance of the certificate is contingent upon the financial health and operational safety of the applicant.

The NCAA also clarified that the fees for obtaining an AOC are not arbitrary, but rather benchmarked against other countries in the West African sub-region and emphasized that the fees are used to fund its regulatory activities and ensure the safety of air travelers.

The statement also addressed the issue of demonstration flights, which are required as part of the AOC process and explained that these flights are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of an airline’s policies, processes, and procedures, and to ensure that they can comply with regulations and safe operating practices.

The NCAA urged stakeholders to support its efforts to grow the aviation sector in Nigeria, while emphasizing the importance of compliance with safety, security, and economic requirements.

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