May 8, 2021

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Air worthy aeroplanes fly Nigeria’s airspace,operators compliant with regulations

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Aircraft flying the nation’s airspace and the organizations that operate them have been given a clean bill of health and the airplanes described as, “certified air worthy”.

Director General, DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt Musa Nuhu, made the assertion in a media statement to set matters straight as against the threat credited to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, who was quoted to have said that air crashes would soon be witnessed in the nation’s airspace because of the federal government’s inability to provide generous COVID-19 palliative to operators in all the air transport sector especially, the airliners.

Capt Nuhu in his statement highlighted how he had carried out oversight over the airliners thus, “ I can categorically say that our airplanes are safe,”

He said that “The airplanes that are not safe have been grounded. Some aircraft have been grounded in Nigeria for months because they are not safe and we have insisted that the operators must fix whatever issue they have before they are authorised to fly”.

The DG, gave insight as to the stringent measures to scale for an aircraft to be certified airworthy saying, “the standard as regards airworthiness of airplanes, even I as the DG I do not have the authority to waive anything as long as it is a safety related issue. All our aircraft flying are safe”.

Left: Hon Ifeanyi Uguanyi, Governor, Enugu State, welcoming Mr Obi Mbanuzuo, Chiekf Operating Officer, COO, Dana Air, to his office, on 17th November, 2020, when the airline restart, Lagos-Enugu-Abuja route.

POSSIBLE DAMAGE
The Chief Inspector of aircraft in Nigeria, Capt Nuhu, and also the Chief Auditor of organizations that operate aeroplane in Nigeria explained possible outcome from that utterance thus, “what this has done is that it has cast doubt in Nigeria civil aviation with international community”.

He said with that statement, “it will make it more difficult for our airlines to access international funds, to have good lease rate for their aircraft, their insurance premium may go up. Of course, the twisting of the comment has created an impression that Nigeria civil aviation is not safe and I don’t think you want to put your aircraft or money where the system is not safe” he said

The NCAA helmsman lamented that, “It is unfortunate and that is not the state we are in. I can categorically state that all aircraft we are flying in Nigeria are safe and safe to fly. You can quote me on that”, he said.

EFFORTS TO ENSURE IMPECCAPBLE OVERSIGHT
He said right through the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regulatory authority did not cease from exposing it’s personnel to new ideas and recommended practices through training and retraining.

Nuhu declared, “that is the first thing we did and we had comprehensive training of technical personnel. We are training our people to make sure they are current, they are up to date so that they can have more skills and ability to do their jobs”

The NCAA CEO added that all operators including airlines, ground handlers, airspace managers and airport operators, were compelled to have their personnel trained.

He said that informed the staggered restart of the domestic operation when it started in July.

The DG statement affirmed this, “i insisted on all operators, I.e, airlines, ground handlers and co. we said they must comply with our regulations. This has led to the grounding of some aircraft because for some reasons, they were not in compliance and we insisted everybody must comply with the regulations”, he revealed.

The DG further revealed that,“One of the regulations is the aircraft airworthiness; the crew must be properly trained, proficient to do their jobs. Everybody must meet up” he narrated

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