We don’t joke with pas­sen­gers’ rights abuses, says NCAA

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

The Nige­ria Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA) has said the body does not han­dle cases of pas­sen­gers’ rights abuses by air­lines with lev­ity.

Gen­eral Man­ager, Con­sumers’ Af­fairs Di­rec­torate of the NCAA, Mrs. Ify Megwa, how­ever, lamented that some air trans­port pas­sen­gers fail to re­port cases of mal­treat­ment by air­lines and merely go home to lick their wounds.

Speak­ing with Daily Trust against the back­drop of fre­quent com­plaints by pas­sen­gers over rights’ abuses by the air­lines, Megwa said the unit has al­ways han­dled the com­plaints sent to it with dis­patch, while the af­fected air­lines are ap­pro­pri­ately pun­ished.

How­ever, she said the is­sues of flight de­lay and can­cel­la­tion might be in­evitable in the sec­tor, say­ing the most im­por­tant thing is how the air­lines treat their pas­sen­gers when flights are can­celled prob­a­bly due to tech­ni­cal hitches.

Ac­cord­ing to her, the con­sumer af­fairs unit also em­barks on rou­tine mon­i­tor­ing of air­lines’ en­gage­ment with the pas­sen­gers to en­sure that pas­sen­gers’ rights are pro­tected.

She said, “We are bring­ing most of them, if not all of them (air­lines) to book. But if you don’t com­plain, you will only go home to lick your wounds. The few peo­ple who are knowl­edge­able, who know that they have a right to com­plain and where to com­plain, when they com­plain, they get re­dress. There is no com­plaint, no mat­ter how lit­tle, that we do not ad­dress at the NCAA when it comes to con­sumers’ rights. But if we don’t know and you don’t com­plain, there is noth­ing we can do about it.”

On flights’ de­lays or can­cel­la­tion, she said, “De­lays and can­cel­la­tions are in­evitable in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion. If, for in­stance, a flight is board­ing and there is a tech­ni­cal hitch, will any pas­sen­ger want to con­tinue with that flight? No air­line would want to risk the lives of its pas­sen­gers on a flight like that. So that could lead to a de­lay or even a can­cel­la­tion even­tu­ally. “ The Nige­rian Airspace Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA) has un­veiled the Per­for­mance­Based Nav­i­ga­tion (PBN) ap­proaches for 15 Nige­rian air­ports.

As part of the drive to im­ple­ment the PBN, which is a satel­lite-based nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, the agency has also pub­lished the Stan­dard Ar­rival Routes (STARs) and Stan­dard In­stru­ment De­par­ture Routes (SIDs) for the Benin air­port.

The said pub­li­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to the agency, en­ables duly equipped air­craft with the nec­es­sary ap­proval from the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA) to fly PBN pro­ce­dures into the air­ports with­out the use of ground nav­i­ga­tional aids.

The af­fected air­ports are those in Benin, Cal­abar, Enugu, Ibadan, Ilorin, Ow­erri, Jos, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Katsina, Minna, Sokoto, Zaria, Gombe and Bauchi.

Ar­range­ments are also in top gear by NAMA to in­te­grate Uyo, As­aba, Yola, Kebbi, Dutse, Akure Bebi and Osubi air­ports into the PBN net­work in the coun­try, the agency as­sured.

Speak­ing on the de­vel­op­ment, the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Ab­dul­salam noted that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the PBN in Nige­ria be­came im­per­a­tive as it is in line with global mi­gra­tion from ground-based nav­i­ga­tion to satel­lite-based nav­i­ga­tion.

Ab­dul­salam said NAMA is leav­ing no stone un­turned in meet­ing the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ICAO) re­quire­ment for states to en­sure full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the PBN at both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional air­ports by 2016.

Capt Mukhtar Us­man, NCAA DG

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