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Nigeria Air: AON commends NCAA for not bowing to pressure to issue AOC, saving Nigeria from blacklist


.…says Ethiopian airline disobeyed court order, deceitful 

The Airline Operator’s of Nigeria, AOC has applauded the stand of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA for not bowing to pressure from the outgoing Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in granting an Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC to the yet to be born Nigeria Air.

According to AON in a statement signed by its spokesman, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, it would have been a disaster for the Nigeria Aviation Industry as the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO would have slammed the NCAA for compromising on safety and commiting an infraction.

“Implication of granting an AOC to Nigeria Air without it successfully going through the process is considered by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as serious infraction, which is also punishable. It is capable of causing Nigeria to be blacklisted by  aviation safety agencies like the US FAA and the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency)”.

“Further implications include that airlines of those countries will not come into Nigeria, and Nigerian airlines will not be allowed to operate into those countries. It also means that Nigeria will definitely fail the upcoming ICAO audit and, by way of further penalty, lose its FAA CAT-1 Certification. Nigerian airlines will also not be able to lease aircraft to boost their operations because no lessor will trust the safety certification process of the NCAA”.

Prof. Okonkwo explained that, Air Operators Certificate (AOC) is also a safety certificate by which the NCAA certifies that the holder has demonstrated that it is fit to conduct safe flight operations. To achieve this,  a prospective airline is put through a rigorous five-phase certification process before it is granted. 

He said, the indigenous operators, are happy and grateful to the NCAA for saving them from this punishment by resisting the pressure from Minister Hadi Sirika to grant an AOC to Nigeria Air without going through the due process, adding that, aviation is an essential sector which is critical to economic development of Nigeria or any country. 

“If tampered with, it will have negative expanded multiplier effect on all aspects  of the economy and life of Nigeria. AON, as strong stakeholders, have a national and patriotic duty to guard against such happening. Otherwise, our investments in the aviation sector of Nigeria, running into billions of dollars, would have been jeopardized. Hence, we in the AON continue to salute the courage of the NCAA team led by Capt. Musa Nuhu, for insisting that the right things must be done in order to protect the safety and integrity of the Nigerian aviation industry, which they have nurtured to enviable world standard”.

On the recently brought in aircraft adorned as Nigeria Air, the AON spokesman said, going on with the process to establish a national airline despite Federal court order to stop all processes relating to the airline was a flagrant disobedience to court order.

The AON also emphasized that, the strategic partner to the supposed carrier Ethiopian Airline has not behaved like a responsible corporate entity. 

“It is not only brazenly disobeying an order of a competent Nigerian court – the Federal High Court of Nigeria – but also allowing itself to be used as part of the grand deception of Nigerians. Ethiopian Airlines knows that the aircraft it landed in Abuja on Friday, May 26, 2023, does not belong to Nigeria Air and is not registered in Nigeria as required by Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations”. 

The body asked, the question: “Would Ethiopia allow a Nigerian airline to brazenly flout the orders of an Ethiopian court or violate the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Regulations as it did in Abuja on Friday, May 26? This goes to show that Ethiopia Airline Operators  have no iota of respect for our country, our laws, and regulatory agencies. It is our hope that Ethiopia Airlines does not get away with this disrespectful action”.


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