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FG slams N17m fine for private aircraft operating commercial flight

To this end, the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, has directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to revoke the licenses, from March 1,…

To this end, the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, has directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to revoke the licenses, from March 1, 2015, of foreign registered privately-operated aircraft issued with its licenses to operate within Nigeria strictly for private operation but engaged in hire or reward.
“The aircraft operations will remain grounded, until the NCAA approves an alternative operational status for the aircraft,” Chidoka ordered.
The minister’s directives were part of the recommendations of a three-man Committee on Foreign Registered, Privately Operated Aircraft Operations in Nigeria, which he set up two weeks ago.
Speaking while receiving the committee’s report in Abuja, the minister said the Department of General Aviation of the NCAA will move into full operations to ensure that operators comply.
The minister cautioned that he will neither authorise nor grant waivers to operators when the new policy comes into force.
“I want to use this opportunity to warn most of the operators of these private airlines, some of them are starting to engage in intimidation. Some are sending us threatening letters of what happened to previous ministers. I want to assure them that this minister will not be intimated…I will not bend the rules for anybody in Nigeria,” he said.
NCAA had last week named the airlines that were given certificates to operate as private airlines and not fly commercial charter service.
The regulatory body said any operator that does not have the appropriate certification would immediately be sanctioned.
Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the committee and Senior Special Adviser to the President on Aviation Reform (SSAP), Capt. Victor Iriobe, noted that most non-commercial flight certificate holders engage in commercial charters in contravention of Nigerian civil aviation regulations.
He said, their activities known globally as “grey market”, must be restricted through appropriate regulatory enforcements.
He added that management interference and poor inter-agencies cooperation were some of the series of systemic challenges the committee identified in NCAA and NAMA that hindered the enforcements of relevant regulations.
Aviation Minister Chief Osita Chidoka had set up the committee following allegations of unauthorised operations by some of the operators.
The aim of the committee was to investigate the operations of all foreign registered, privately owned aircraft issued with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Flight Operations Clearance Certificate (FOCC) and Maintenance Clearance Certificate (MCC) operating commercial charters instead of their NCAA authorisation for private (not for hire or reward) operations within Nigeria, among others.

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