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“We are doing our best to ensure continuous safety in the air”… DG NCAA

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The Nigeria’s aviation industry regulatory authority, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA says, it is working assiduously to ensure continuous safety in the air.

This the authority says, is being done through its strict oversight on compliance to regulations and recommended practices by the airlines.

Speaking with aviation reporters in Abuja, the Director General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu who gave this assurance said, they work with the airlines and give them the needed assistance in areas where they have challenges.

“We are doing our best to ensure that there is continuous safety in the air and we ensure compliance with all our regulations and recommended practices. We work together with the industry to see how we can assist, help the industry”.

Capt. Nuhu explained that, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic have put the airlines in difficult situation and while many did not survive the pandemic, others are still being affected from the impact of the Covid-19.

“But the truth of the matter is that the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic did not only put the airlines in a difficult situation, but exposed a lot of fractions within the system. A lot of airlines didn’t globally survive the Covid-19 and some are still being affected from the impact of Covid-19”.

Other problems of the airlines, he listed to include after the pandemic was lack of access to forex and Jet A1 which still persist.

“When we thought we were recovering, then we had issues of foreign exchange, Jet A1 crisis, which further put the industry in a very difficult situation. They are trying under difficult circumstances and that increase our workload to continue the surveillance to ensure that safety margins are adhered to and we are getting there”.

On the resumption of flight by aero contractor on December 5, Capt. Nuhu said, the airline is welcome back as they were never grounded based on safety, adding that, the problem they had when audited was financial sustainability.

“Aero Contractors was not grounded based on safety issues, we did an audit of them because whatever audit you do, you have findings and they were all minor findings. There was no Level 1, 2, 3 findings. They were very insignificant. We notified them. We audited them and we found out that the issue they had was finance sustainability”.

Explaining further, he said, “Aviation is safety sensitive and whenever you have financial difficulty, it is just a matter of time, you will not be able to comply with all the regulatory requirements and some may start cutting corners. So, before financial issue becomes safety issue, we had a discussion with them and they on their own before we took any action, agreed with our findings and suspended their operations to enable them reorganise and get some funding to get more equipment”.

“That is what they have done, we sat with them, they submitted, we asked for projection, which they did, we reviewed. The first one wasn’t good enough, they had to go and review it and it was quite satisfactory. We had MoU with them for payment of outstanding 5 per cent on Ticket Sales Charge (TSC).

“So, they are fine. As far as we are concerned, they can resume operations”.

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