…Alleges NCAA Deliberately Withhold The Facts
Barely minutes after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA)fined Firstnation Airways N33.5 million for allegedly breaching safety regulation in accordance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations(NCARs),the airline has not only denied any wrong doing but has equally accused the regulatory body of acting in bad faith and misrepresenting the facts.
The airline’s swift reaction is contained in an online statement signed by Mr Rasheed Yusuf and made available to aviation journalists today.
“Firstnation Airways issue this Press release to clarify our position with respect to the press release by NCAA of Sunday February 5th 2017. We are surprised that the NCAA press release did not contain the fact that we immediately filed an appeal against the sanctions in accordance with the requirements of Nig. CARs 1.10 . The fact that NCAA elected to go Public on a Sunday, without any need to rush to media and by deliberately withholding the fact that we have appealed the sanctions in accordance with the relevant regulation is in bad faith and showed the Authority’s tendency of regulation by media in a very sensitive industry” The statement reads in part.
The airline posited that NCAA did not state the facts of the matter but that instead ,it took to the media by misrepresenting the facts and that it had since drawn the regulatory body’s attention the issues.
According to the statement, “It is our position that on the on the day that the said flight was ramp inspected, the Captain had a valid medical license. We have also drawn NCAA’s attention to the need to address the bureaucracy associated with the general license and medical renewals process with the Authority. We will cooperate with NCAA in working to improve the current challenges with respect to License renewal. “
The statement stated categorically that, “The airline admit no wrong doing and despite this position consider the level of financial fine arbitrary and at variance with the levels set out in the relevant section of Nig.CARs .The essence of NCARs is corrective rather than cause airline injury and we will be working the appeal and review of the sanction with NCAA.”
Firstnation, the statement added is committed to best industry practice and respect for regulation and that it take safety seriously.
“Our high safety standard is attested by the fact that the Airline is IATA-Operational Safety Audit(IOSA) certified, The first airlines to achieve IOSA certification among the ten Africa airlines selected by IATA- International Airline Training Fund(IATF) in 2014” The statement said .
Recalled that the airline and one of its pilots were fined N33.5 Million by NCAA for allegedly violating of safety regulations
NCAA sanction of the airline was made known in an online statement signed by the General Manager of Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, today in Lagos .
Adurogboye had explained in the statement that the sanction was conveyed in a Letter conveying the penalties, which ordered the airline to pay a sum of N32,000,000 only while the Pilot – in – Command (PIC) of the Aircraft, will pay N1,500,000 only.
According to the Letter, “during a Ramp Inspection on your Airbus A319 Aircraft with registration mark 5N-FNE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA),it was discovered that the PIC was not in personal possession of a current medical certificate neither was it readily accessible.”Consequent upon this, a Letter Of Investigation [LOI] was sent to the Airline and the Pilot.”