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‘Step up regulation of private jets operators’

Ojikutu said of the estimated 150 private jets operating in Nigeria, about 80 percent (120 jets) are registered abroad thus presenting a huge regulatory challenge.Ojikutu,…

Ojikutu said of the estimated 150 private jets operating in Nigeria, about 80 percent (120 jets) are registered abroad thus presenting a huge regulatory challenge.
Ojikutu, who spoke to our correspondent on the phone, said that focus of private jets operators is largely on the commercial interests thus if they are not well regulated; they could pose serious safety threats.
“If we don’t regulate the private jets operators more, we may have more accidents in general aviation. The general aviation takes as much as about 50 percent of our aviation traffic yet the sector isn’t as much regulated like the scheduled operators. We need to critically look at the general aviation operators,” he said.
He also worried about the foreign registered private jets operators’ value addition to the local economy.
“A lot of the private jets are registered abroad and have foreign crew. What is the advantage to the local aviation industry? What about even the security concern?,” he asked.
Ojikutu is also worried about private jets owned by politicians not obeying rules and regulations.
“Since politicians dominate the private jets market, we may not be able to enforce stringent measures,” he noted.
He however said if the Minister of Aviation Chief Osita Chidoka is committed to curbing excesses in the general aviation area, he would succeed.
“But with the gradual process the minister is going, he is likely to make impact. He is studying the sector and gathering information on how to effectively run the sector,” he said.

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