US FAA to begin recertification of Nigeria’s Category One in March

MMIA-LagosBy Chuks Okoh

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), said Sunday that the United States Federal Aviation Administration ( US FAA), has notified it of its intention to commence the recertification of the nation’s civil aviation category one status in March .

Nigeria attained category one on September 18, 2010. Part of the requirement of the category one re-assessment would include certification of major international airports, the operations of aviation agencies including airspace authority, aviation training college as well as meteorological agency.
The recertification by the US FAA according to the Director General of NCAA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu is part of processes to revalidate the highest civil aviation rating , which ensures that Nigeria is in line with updated standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation .
Towards ensuring that Nigeria achieves a successful outing for the audit, the NCAA as set up a committee to accelerate the process.Speaking at a briefing yesterday in Lagos , Akinkuotu said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is putting all hands on deck to ensure that the nation acquits itself very well in the impending exercise.To this effect, a Technical Committee has been inaugurated to provide fillip and drive all the preparation process.
Membership of the committee , Akinkuotu said is drawn from the Flight Safety Group (FSG) directorates .These are Directorate of Airworthiness Standard (DAWS), Directorate of Licensing (DOL) and Directorate of Operations and Training (DOT).
Others are Directorate of Finance and Accounts (DFA), Directorate of Human Resources (DHR), Directorate of Administration (DOA) and the Legal department.
The Chairman of the Technical committee is Capt Abdullahi Sidi, the director of
Operations and Training while the secretary is Dr. W.T.Haggai Ag. head, Aeromedical Standards.
The term of reference of the technical committee is to ensure adequate preparation for the FAA Category one Re – Assessment Audit.
He said :” All the staff of NCAA are ready and prepared for the Audit, if there is no air transport there is no need for NCAA. The Reassessment is to ensure that our processes are right. They want to receive assurances that the high standards that gave us the
certification are sustained. Let me also correct a misconception in certain quarters, where some people believe erroneously that Category one is about NCAA in isolation.
This is far from the truth. I have stated previously how Cat 1 certification ushered in the positive growth we are all witnessing today. As a matter of fact, all facets of the industry and all the stakeholders are part of the process. The continued success is the foundation for good business for both local and foreign direct investors.
“ At this point, the nation’s aviation industry is under scrutiny and we need to manage the information flow to eliminate ambiguity or reports that are capable of casting aspersions on our industry that has recorded so many milestones recently. To reiterate,the Category one certification apart from the safety rating is a business catalyst that is capable of employing hundreds of thousands of Nigerians and the entrepreneurial proceeds derivable from it.”

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