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Stakeholders tackle Keyamo on Dana Air suspension

The suspension of Dana Air’s operations after a runway incident on its Abuja-Lagos flight on Wednesday in Lagos has continued to generate fuss in the…

The suspension of Dana Air’s operations after a runway incident on its Abuja-Lagos flight on Wednesday in Lagos has continued to generate fuss in the aviation industry, with stakeholders insisting the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development has gone beyond its beat by interfering in regulatory functions and recommending the suspension of the airline.

Daily Trust reports that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Wednesday announced the suspension of Dana Air hours after the Ministry of Aviation made a public statement directing the apex regulatory authority to suspend the airline.

Stakeholders faulted the directive from the Minister, Mr Festus Keyamo, which they described as interference in the regulatory functions of NCAA.

Amid the unfolding events over the suspension, the airline said it had initiated the process of refunding passengers with pending bookings.

Keyamo orders suspension, audit of Dana Airline after Lagos airport incident

Experts weigh in as FG grounds Dana Air after runway incident

Dana Air assured its customers of its full cooperation with the aviation authorities to swiftly resolve the issues leading to the suspension of its operating licence.

“Dana Air’s proactive approach aims to minimise disruptions and prioritise customer satisfaction during this challenging period. Passengers affected by the flight suspension are urged to act promptly to facilitate the Dana Air refunds process,” the airline said in a statement.

Meanwhile, aviation industry think-tank, the Aviation Roundtable and Safety Initiative (ASRTI), said the action of the minister on the Dana Air incident “is contrary to law and process and to the promise of the honourable minister to respect both law and process and to restore autonomy to the NCAA.”

General Secretary of ART, Olumide Ohunayo, in a statement, said, “The suspension of the entire operations of DANA Air directed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development runs against these principles and indicates a return to the ugly past that destroyed confidence in the industry and by the global community on the principles of an autonomous industry regulator, representing a threat to safety and security in the sector generally.”

ART condemned the external interference demonstrated by the minister’s, which according to it “serves to erode institutional autonomy and jeopardizes safety in the aviation sector. ART hereby reiterates its commitment to the non-negotiable autonomy of the NCAA as stated in Section 4 (3) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act.

“The conduct of financial audits of airlines lies exclusively with the NCAA. The decisions on what are appropriate sanctions for violations also lie with the NCAA exclusively.”

An aviation analyst, Prof Anthony Kila, in a chat with our correspondent, said the grounding of Dana Air “is not impressive.”

He said, “The right intervention should be investigation and vigilance.”

A former official of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, said, “The action of the minister is like putting our civil aviation on a reverse to the era between the late eighties and the early time of the present democratic dispensation when President Obasanjo for no just course ordered the grounding of the entire Chanchangi fleet over a Bellview crash.”

However, the Minister in an interview on Channels TV defended his action, saying there would be an audit of all airlines.

“You see regulators, who are supposed to be public servants, buying big houses and driving big cars. They are endangering the lives of Nigerians by cutting corners and falsifying reports… we are going to bring down that system of corruption. 

 

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