Position of Director Airworthiness is not a child’s play

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Harold Demuren, former DG NCAA

Experts in the aviation sector have raise an alarm over appointments termed as political into the heart of safety of the Nigeria CIvil Aviation Authority, NCAA with half baked professionals.

They say it is unheard off to appoint inexperienced aviation professionals to cater for the safety critical directorates of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

The experts which comprises, former Directors-General of civil aviation authority , maintenance engineers, security experts, pilots said recent appointments into these two directorates in the NCAA is a disservice to the Nigerian aviation sector.

Speaking at the Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative breakfast meeting in Lagos, former director-General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren who described the appointments as political say this will further worsen the already bad situation the industry is currently grappling with.
He noted that the undue interference of government in the NCAA is killing the industry, adding that the flooding of the agency with unqualified people by the ministry is a signal of lowing safety and enforcement standards of the sector.
Dr. Demuren said a Director-General of the regulatory who cannot advise the minister, engage and assist him to make the right decision is not fit to regulate the industry.

” a DG must be strong, assertive and must have the will to say No when certain decision or demands are made when it will not be in the interest of safety, he must be fearless, leave the job does not mean leave the world”

The former NCAA DG, noted that persons who occupy the position of airworthiness Director, must have the requisite qualifications not a person who would learn on the job.

He said,” The man who is going to issue a certificate of Airworthiness that says aero plane can fly in this country for goodness sake must know what he is doing, he must be qualified, here professionalism, competence, integrity, experience, background crucial for that position, you don’t learn on the table there. You know what the law says, No aircraft shall fly in this country unless it has a certificate of airworthiness issued by the authority. Anytime we go to court the first question the lawyer ask is, who issued this certificate, you say NCAA,then ,they ask the question, who can withdraw this certificate, they say NCAA, you know what the lawyer will say, I think we should hold NCAA responsible for this that’s how big it is, so, the person who will occupy that position must be strong”.

He advised that if jobs must be given by government not in the NCAA where qualification to ensure safety are critical but in other agencies.

“you know you want to give them job, put them in NAMA, put them in FAAN or NIMET, that wouldn’t kill anybody but if you put them in NCAA we are digging our graves that’s dangerous. Let us hope that those people are ready to learn, are they trainable, have they done airworthiness course, has he gone through FAA courses, this guy is going to go to ICAO with his DG, the meeting will split, you would have to go and led Africa group, Nigeria leads African group, when he gets there, what is he going to say, the paper they give to him, he may not be able to read it, the first word there he may not understand, that’s why this is dangerous. But as am saying, if he is ready to learn, ready to move, if not, these are the things he has to do. If you do any audit today on Nigeria, they will check the qualification of the director of airworthiness off course they write it down against the NCAA as an open item, they will call the NCAA, just want to clarify, is this true? You say yes sir, did you check his credentials? You say not me oo, its my minister, no, no,that’s not acceptable”.

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