Aviation stakeholders seek expiry date removal from airline certificates

Aviation stakeholders have called for an amendment of the Civil Aviation Act to remove expiry date from the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

They made the plea during the 25th Annual Conference and Award Ceremony organised by the League of Aviation and Airports Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos on Thursday.

Chairman of West Link Airlines, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, said there was need to amend the Civil Aviation Act to remove  the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) expiry date.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 25th conference was with the theme: Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation.

Mshelia, Chairman of the conference, urged industry players to take a cue from other developed aviation industries across the world by obliterating the expiry date in the Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) issue to local airlines.

The airline chairman said a change in the status quo where there was a blanket issuance procedure of AOC for big, small, or large airline operations was necessary.

He said:  “With the lopsidedness in the procurement procedures and the operational limits of AOC holders in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to amend our act and policy in this area.

“This is to empower the civil aviation to also breakdown certification processes of our commercial operations.

“Today, we have an unhealthy situation where there is a blanket issuance procedure of AOC for big, small, or large operations.

“Under this system, the roles of other segments of operators that are also entitled, by law, to operate commercial operations, unfettered as guaranteed by ICAO, are not spelt out.”

Mshelia said that in certifying the operators, however, one checklist was being used for all, adding that there was need to enforce the norms and do all that was required to make the aviation sector conform with global norms.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TAL Helicopters, Mr Femi Adeniji, explained that in other countries like the United States, for instance, AOCs were acquired for life unless such an airline had issues which grounded its operations for years.

Adeniji argued that the same could be replicated in Nigeria, urging NCAA to amend its regulations and put them in tandem with developments around the world.

He said the one-shoe-fits–all approach in the regulation needed to be removed for true de