…Accuses NCAA Of Regulating Through Media Sensationalism
…Says Suspension Not On Safety Related Issues But Commercial
Embattled one aircraft commercial airline; First Nation Airways has stated the suspension of its operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has not served national interest.
The suspended carrier’s reaction is coming following the suspension of the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of the airline indefinitely.
NCAA had explained that the suspension was sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of it AOC by the airline thereby carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.
NCAA revealed that when the AOC of First Nation Airways expired, the airline did not have at least two (2) airworthy aircraft capable of servicing its approved schedule as required by Part 18.104.22.168(b)(2) (ii) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.
However, in an online statement signed by Rasheed Yusuff titled, “First Nation Clarifies Operations” the airline said that Firstnation Airways has decided to issue the following clarifications with respect to NCAA suspension of its operations.
The airline, who said it does not want to join issues with NCAA, however, accused the regulatory body of regulating through media sensationalism, adding that this method will not serve the industry well.
Speaking further, the airline said, “We are reluctant to join issues, in the media with NCAA, as we believe that Regulation through media sensationalism will ultimately NOT serve the industry well. Except to reiterate that we respect regulations and have immediately complied with NCAA’s directive. It is also a matter of fact, that we presented two airworthy aircraft, to the Authority as far back as September 2017. It is therefore apparent that the context of our operation vis a vis compliance with the extant regulations and Government’s policy have been misconstrued.”
Be that as it may, First Nation appealed to NCAA to reconsider and review its t suspension, in the light of facts that would be made available to the authorities, adding that the suspended carrier would cooperate with NCAA in good faith, to address all concerns and the alleged infractions to reach resolution.
Speaking further, the airline said, “It is pertinent to add that the allegations are NOT safety related and that our operation achieved above industry dispatch reliability of over 95% and reputed for on time performance and schedule integrity. The operating aircraft and crew hold the relevant, safety critical approvals and authorizations.”
It continued, “The basis of NCAA’s decision is therefore apparently commercial. And in an Industry facing worsening aircraft capacity constraints, the authority should be forward looking and working with industry to facilitate policies that will endear industry growth, so as not to further limit and compromise passengers’ choice options across all segments. The national interest has not been served by this development.”
The airline said that it remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with industry best practice, adding that First Nation is currently working assiduously on fleet expansion and confident that it would grow its fleet this year, 2018.