NCAA insists on strict compliance to guidelines on airline operations

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), says it will continue to ensure strict compliance to issuance and renewal of Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to only qualified applicants.

The Director General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, reaffirmed this while speaking with aviation correspondents in Lagos on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DG was responding to a purported allegation by the Chief Operating Officer, Tropical Artic Logistics (TAL), Mr Femi Adeniji,  against NCAA on AOC’s issuance and renewal.

Nuhu said despite the allegation, the authority would not compromise enforcement of Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs) on issuance and renewal of all AOC.

The director general added that this was one of the main reasons the country had attained FAA IASA Category one,  in the first instance.

Musa noted that the regulatory body would continue to  operate within its mandate for safe, secure and efficient industry,  as enshrined in the 2006 Civil Aviation Act.

On the issue of non-renewal of TAL’s AOC by NCAA, he said the company did not meet  the requirements for renewal of the AOC as it currently did  not have three out of four key nominated post holders.

The director general said the missing key personnel included the Director of Maintenance, Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot.

“In addition,  the operator is yet to comply with COVID-19 Industry Restart Programme like all other industry players did,  before receiving approval to resume operations.”

According to him, the company’s AOC will be renewed when these requirements had been satisfactorily met.

The DG further stated that the AOC processes,  which were in five phases,  (both initial and renewal), were not peculiar to the country as it was an International Civil Aviation Organisations (ICAO) requirement.

“This is contained in the ICAO Annex Six, Parts one and three and ICAO Document 8335, captured in Nig.CARS 2015, Part nine on AOC Certification.

“These strict regulations are to ensure only qualified applicants are granted AOC. This is one of the main reasons Nigeria attained FAA IASA Category One in the first instance.

“Nig.CARS 2015 are established with the participation and consultation of all industry stakeholders and must be fully complied with, until such a time when the regulations are  reviewed.

” This is the reason for naming it  Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) rather than NCAA Regulations,” he said.

The DG, however, accepted that NCAA was not a perfect entity and  had its peculiar challenges and difficulties like all organisations, but noted that there was always room for improvement.

Nuhu said that one major challenge was that of manual processes in the authority that could be cumbersome, inefficient and difficult, pointing out that the  management had recognised those shortcomings.

He added that it had also developed plans to digitise its documentation and automate its internal workings  for processes not only for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness,  but most importantly,  to deal with  rapid growth of the domestic industry.

The NCAA boss said the plan, amongst others, included acquisition of Safety Oversight Management System (currently in procurement),  which formed  the backbone of several CAAs.

He noted that the implementation of the system was expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Nuhu said  that NCAA was ready and willing to work with all parties to resolve challenges or difficulties they might face as it had already done with many. (NAN)