Lo­cal air­lines can do bet­ter – NCAA DG

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

The Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA), Capt. Mukhtar Us­man, has said Nige­rian air­lines need to im­prove their cor­po­rate gover­nance to en­able them sus­tain and re­main in the busi­ness for a long haul.

Speak­ing with our cor­re­spon­dent dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral flight of pil­grims by Med-View Air­line from the Kaduna In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the land­ing of Ethiopian Air­line in Kaduna from Ad­dis Ababa, Us­man also debunked the in­sin­u­a­tion that the civil avi­a­tion au­thor­ity was be­ing too harsh on do­mes­tic car­ri­ers.

He de­fended the re­cent fine of N35.5m im­posed on First Na­tion Air­ways, stress­ing that the sanc­tion was in com­pli­ance with the pro­vi­sion of the Civil Avi­a­tion Reg­u­la­tions.

He said the in­ten­tion was not puni­tive but to en­force com­pli­ance with the stan­dard and rec­om­mended prac­tices laid down by the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO).

There have been mur­murs within the in­dus­try over the harsh op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment which had trig­gered the ground­ing of many air­lines while the gov­ern­ment has equally been blamed for al­legedly sti­fling the op­er­a­tions of do­mes­tic car­ri­ers and pro­mot­ing their for­eign coun­ter­parts.

How­ever, the DG dis­missed the in­sin­u­a­tion, say­ing the civil avi­a­tion au­thor­ity had been try­ing as much as pos­si­ble to as­sist the lo­cal car­ri­ers; es­pe­cially in the al­lo­ca­tion of in­ter­na­tional fre­quen­cies in line with the pro­vi­sion of Bi­lat­eral Air Ser­vices Agree­ment (BASAs).

Us­man stressed that it would be un­fair to ac­cuse NCAA of sti­fling the op­er­a­tions of do­mes­tic car­ri­ers, even as he urged air­line op­er­a­tors to feel free to com­plain to the au­thor­ity if they had dif­fi­cul­ties fly­ing into other coun­tries which had air­lines op­er­at­ing in Nige­ria.

The DG fur­ther said: “We can only come to the aid of air­line op­er­a­tors if there is a com­plaint, and all the com­plaints that we have, the few that we have re­ceived, we are at­tend­ing to them.

“When they have a prob­lem, in­stead of re­fer­ring it to us, they try to take it up them­selves and it is only when they have real dif­fi­cul­ties that they go out and talk. The main thing is that be­fore they even com­mence op­er­a­tions, they should let us know, and any­time they have prob­lems, they should com­plain to us.

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