By Chuks Okoh
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to fine-tune its regulations. The acting director general of NCAA, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka stated this Thursday in Lagos after the FAA team had rounded off their auditing of the country’s aviation industry.
“These auditors, their job is to come here and audit us and submit the report within the next 10 days. Now, we know the area which we are going to work on. FAA needs fine-tune of our regulation. We have a regulation committee. We need to make sure our regulation aligns with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations. We are already into training; training is a continuous thing, it is not a one off thing,” he said.
Adeyileka said if there had been favourable comments about the aviation sector there might have been no need for the FAA team to come for the re-assessment of Nigeria’s CAT 1 safety status. However, he said NCAA had prepared for the exercise.
He said it would not do the country any good to speculate whether it would retain the CAT 1 safety rating or not adding that even the auditors were not in a position to comment on such issue.
“Nobody at this stage can go on and talk about retention of CAT 1. Even the auditors that were here cannot tell us about retention because their job is to audit and submit their report to the higher authority that will look at it. There should be no speculation. You don’t count your chickens before they are hatched. There is really nothing to worry about,” he said.
Adeyileka also said if the FAA assessors had come and found nothing, he would have been worried. “If they came and did not find anything, I would be disturbed. They found issues; we are aware of critical element 4 and 6- technical personnel qualification and training, licensing and certification obligations- and we have started work on them,” he said.
However, he added: “They were actually very surprised; they looked at the industry, looked at everything, all the previous speculations about some of the airlines, about the minister issuing Air Operator Certificate (AOC). We looked into them even before they came.”
By Chuks Okoh