Stakeholders Ask NCAA To Remove Expiry Date From AOCs
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been called upon to emulate other developed aviation countries by expunging the expiry date in the Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) issued to airlines in Nigeria .
The call was made by participants at the 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) today in Lagos with the theme, Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation.
The speakers said that the era of given airline operators AOC that would only last for two years is no longer in vogue and but also archaic.
This is as the National Assembly has promised to as a matter of urgency pass the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulatory (NCAR) Bill immediately it resumes from its recess. The bill is presented at the second reading in the National Assembly.
Opening the discussion proper, the Chairman, West Link Airlines,Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia,while presenting his paper pointed out that the Nigerian aviation industry in Nigeria was bedevilled by many challenges, of which the process of issuing AOC is one of them.
Mshelia who also the Chairman of the event contended that a situation where airline operators are forced to renew its AOC every two years was anti-progress.
The West Link Airlines Board of Trustees (BoT) added that a situation where every airline operator not miniding the type of operations specifications are made to undergo the same rigorous processes is not the the deal thing to do
He further argued that there is no where in the world where operators are given such stringent conditions before they could commence flight operations .
According to him, “With the lopsidedness in the procurement procedures and the operational limits of AOC holders in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to amend our Act and policy in this area, to empower the civil aviation to also break down the certification process of our commercial operations. The word AOC has been so over-valued like a village masquerade that appears once in five years. This is not supposed to be so. Operation specifications in this regard is the masquerade and not the certificate.
He continued, “Today, we have an unhealthy situation where there is a blanket issuance procedure of AOC for big, small, or large operations. Under this system, the roles of other segments of operators that are also entitled, by law, to operate commercial operations, unfettered as guaranteed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is not spelt out. By ICAO standard, small, large and medium operations, including; Air Taxi, Air Charter, Cargo Only, nonscheduled and Scheduled operations and others are recognised.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TAL Helicopters, Engr. Femi Adeniji, told the gathering that in United States, AOCs are approved for operators for life except the airline has issues, which made the airline to go under .
The US example, he further stated should could be practiced in Nigeria by NCAA and that the regulatory body to review its regulations to reflect modern trend and as practiced in developed aviation climes.
Speaking,the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation,Senator Smart Adeyemi, gave assurance that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulation(NCAR) that is before the National Assembly(NAS) would be reviewed and passed
The passage of the Executive bill , the Senator stated would further enhance the Nigerian aviation industry ass
He explained that the passage of the executive bill would further accelerate growth in the Nigerian aviation industry, adding that NASS would not only look at the bill critically but that it would ensure speedy passage for the bill for the development and safety of the industry
“As soon as we resume from our recess, efforts will be made to ensure that we pass the NCAR bill before us. Aviation is a socio-economic of any nation. It requires the support of everyone.”
His fellow lawmaker at the house of Representatives, the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji contended that what the Nigerian aviation industry needs is good policy governance and the right framework to move the dynamic industry to the next level, assuring that the Lower Chamber would also give the Executive Bill accelerated hearing.