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