• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Charter operators’ AOCs issued in compliance with standards, says Dati

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Yakubu Dati, spokesman for aviation agencies has explained that Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and licences for chartered operations are issued to organisations that meet stringent standard requirements set by global aviation bodies and not to unknown companies.

He explained that aviation is not an industry where an individual or a company can just gate-crash, adding that it is capital-intensive and has stringent safety and security requirements.

“So, even if you are a government loyalist and you do not have substantive capital base, you cannot make headway in the aviation industry. Moreover, records show that in the past three years, not more than five companies were issued new AOCs,” he said.

He alleged that some charter operators had formed the habit of engaging foreign registered aircraft with foreign crew with a view to evading rightful payment to aviation agencies.

According to him, on some occasions, the ministry of aviation had to wade in to save the situation when it was no longer unbearable for government.

He added that the ministry of aviation had to issue the directive that all foreign registered aircraft operating in the country’s airspace should re-register with the NCAA ,adding that many charter operators were not comfortable with the policy which he said was the best so far.

Dati however debunked allegations that the three director generals of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) changed within a period of three years had created instability in the sector.

“Harold Demuren was the director general NCAA until 2012. Stella Oduah, former aviation minister, met him in that position and he continued in that office until 2012 when his statutory final year tenure ended.

“No substantive director general of NCAA was appointed until early last 2013, when Capt. Fola Akinkuotu was appointed director general of NCAA by the President. And as a matter of fact Akinkuotu, the second director general was only recently removed,” he explained.

On the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) re-assessment of Nigeria’s CAT 1 safety status concluded in Lagos last week, Dati said the federal government had done enough in the aviation industry to merit the retention of the certification.