January 28, 2023

Nigeria Transport Hub

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Airline Operators Certificate Life Span May Soon Extend to Five Years, other adjustments imminent; imperative that stakeholders submit memoranda without delay

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Sen Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister in the Cockpit

Ahead of the intended stakeholders’ forum to do a critical appraisal of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, NCARs, in the light of the newly assented civil aviation act by President Muhammadu Buhari, Capt Musa Shuaib Nuhu, Director General, DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has hinted that his management has begun considering the extension of the life-span of Air Operators Certificate from two to five years.

That notion was dropped at the conclusion of the well-attended emergency zoom meeting held at the instance of the DG who used the occasion to appeal to prospective operators in the entire value chain of air transport in Nigeria to submit memoranda that will shape the new civil Aviation Regulation, CAR, that shall be distilled from the new civil aviation act.

Hence he appealed to stakeholders to stand up and be counted in this regard as the regulation being proposed is meant to enhance the performance of industry players and aid them to realize an appreciable return on their investments in a reasonable time frame.

Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation also made it known that the memoranda submitted were way far off and too little to represent the large numbers of operators prospecting in the different value chains of aviation in Nigeria.

Hence he appealed to every material particular of investors prospecting in air transport to takeout time and contribute to the much-needed diverse opinions needed to shape the much touted reviewed civil aviation regulation in Nigeria.

Capt Musa Shuaib Nuhu, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA

The PS said the timeline erstwhile stipulated had since expired but the memoranda submitted would not inspire a fair representation of opinion on salient issues that border on the safe, economic, and secured operation of investors in the fastest-growing sector of the national economy.

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika was also present at the meeting.

Nuhu harped on the emergence of a homegrown regulation but with greater contributions from the widest spectrum of stakeholders to produce a sacrosanct regulation that shall be in total compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s ICAO’s recommended standards and practices.

Recall that since the DG assumed office just at the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he had hinged the review of the regulation on the signing of a new improved civil aviation act by Mr. President.

Nuhu had severally made it known at both public and private fora ever since that, the Act will aid in taking care of gaps in the regulation including but not limited to, illegal charter operations, foreign aircraft registration, inconsistent rules such as the conditionality for procuring AOC by schedule commercial operator and the general aviation, among others.

By the current understanding, submission of memoranda is now very urgent although no time frame was given at yesterday’s meeting, the tone from the PS and the DG implied progress shall be made from the present juncture before the expiration of the first quarter of 2023.

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