Firstnation Airways Appeals NCAA’s Sanctions, Accuses Agency Of Acting In Bad Faith

* Pic Source : Nigeria Technology Hub

                                                                                     

 

…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.”

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