• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Suspension of $300 Helicopter Landing Levy right step — AON

Suspension of $300 Helicopter Landing Levy right step — AON

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Thursday applauded the federal government’s suspension of the 300 dollars helicopter landing and take-off levy as a step in the right direction.

The AON made this known in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, in Lagos.

Okonkwo commended the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN) on the suspension, saying it would support growth and sustainability of operators in the industry.

He said that AON and other stakeholders’ stance on the matter was not ignored, as the minister listened and acted appropriately.

According to him, the controversial landing and take-off fee to be collected by Messrs. Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited, started in 2018, with the company demanding the levies to be paid in dollars, contrary to the provision of section 15 of the CBN Act.

The fees were to be paid for helicopter landings and take-offs on and from oil rig platforms and private helipads, among others.

Okonkwo said that the company had proposed to the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who wrote to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), for comments.

He said that the NCAA, however, said there was no legal justification for the introduction of the levy.

Okonkwo said that the NCAA had stated that aside certification of helipads, most of which are privately-owned, and for which it charged certification fee, it did not provide any service to helicopter operators that would justify the imposition of such fee.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) which manages airports also had neither legal framework nor justification to impose such a charge, other than at its airports, which helicopter operators pay just like other aircraft operators in Nigeria.

According to him, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has as one of its functions, under its Act, provision of navigation services necessary for the operation of aircraft taking off or landing, and to integrating them into the overall air traffic within the Nigerian airspace.

He said that NAMA did not charge helicopter landing and take-off fee on or from oil rig platforms, Field Support Programme Officers (FSPOs) and private helipads, because it did not provide any service in respect thereto, to the operators.