Call NAPIMS To Order, Aviation Union Appeals To Buhari
The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) has appealed to President, Mohammadu Buhari to call the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to order over its alleged directive to Bristow clients to terminate the contracts they signed with the fixed wing giant following the ditching of its Sikorsky type machine.
The appeal, which is contained in a statement issued by the National President of the union Comrade Okewu Benjamin, questioned the authority and grounds of which NAPIMS gave that directives.
Okewu argued that the technical audit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was carrying out a standard procedure used all over the world when an airline or operator is involved in two or more air accidents within a spate of time.
According to him, “NAPIMS is only but a corporate service unit of the exploration and production Directorate on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and that it has no power to act instead of the regulator; NCAA.”
Okewu insisted that the only organisation recognised by international civil aviation organisation (ICAO) to ground any airline operations and declare it unsafe to fly is the NCAA.
ATSSSAN advised NAPIMS not to use the unfortunate situation of the crash or ditching to play the politics of diverting Bristow contracts to other parties, where they seemed to have vested interest in the name of safety as it is too early to make such conclusion.
“Mr. President sir, call the management of NAPIMS to order before they deprive us of our hard earned FAA Category 1 status. They have no knowledge, technicality and authority in the matter which they are issuing directives please. We must await the final report and decision of the NCAA audit and directives on the matter and these include NAPIMS.”
Recalled that NAPIMS was alleged to have written to Bristow’s clients asking them to terminate the contract between them and Bristow Helicopters following the ditching of one of its helicopters on February 3, 2016.
Bristow had reacted in a statement saying, “We are aware that a number of our clients have received a letter from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) requesting termination of Bristow’s services. We have engaged the authority and other government officials on the matter.”
According to Bristow, “We are in full compliance of all Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) regulatory requirements and Sikorsky operating directives and continue to fully cooperate with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in their investigation into the event of February 3, 2016.”
The statement had hinted that a comprehensive audit has been performed by the NCAA, adding that it was also conducting series of additional safety assurance checks on the Sikorsky S-76 fleet as a precautionary measure prior to returning the aircraft to service.