Private jet owners barred from carrying friends, associates

By The Citizen

A new aviation policy introduced by the Federal Government has come up with stringent conditions for the operations of private jets in the country, a development which analysts fear might cause discomfort to private jet owners.

The long awaited National Civil Aviation Policy, 2013, which took the Federal Government over one year to prepare, was finally unveiled on Friday with severe rules for private jet owners in the country.

The policy has barred individuals with private jets from carrying their friends and business associates on board the aircraft, stating that only members of their families are allowed aboard.

It states further that companies with private jets are permitted to carry only their employees or members of the Boards of Directors.

Moreover, the policy has also directed that the identities of all passengers onboard any private jet must be made known through a manifest before air traffic control clearance will be sought.

It states, 'Approval or clearance from the Director-General, NCAA, will not be required from Nigerians operating non-revenue flights with appropriate insurance policies in the following cases: 'For private aircraft owned or leased by individuals, only the family members of the owner/lessee of the aircraft will be permitted on board as passengers; 'For private aircraft owned or leased by companies or corporate entities, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company will be permitted on board as passengers.

'For aircraft belonging to non-scheduled or scheduled operators, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company or the corporation may be permitted on board as passengers; all operators will declare the identities of all passengers on non-revenue charter flights in the appropriate general declaration forms prior to obtaining ATC clearance.

'Nigerian carriers operating revenue passenger charter flights will be required to have a current non-scheduled or scheduled operator permit with operations manual that contains flight duty time limitations, which will be strictly monitored on regular basis.'

Similarly, the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, has directed that all foreign-registered private jets will no longer be allowed to stay in the country beyond 15 days as recommended by the NCAP.

She, however, said foreign-registered private jets on special mission in Nigeria would be allowed to stay for only 60 days, following a special approval from the office of the minister.

Part VII of the NCAP 2013, which deals with general aviation (private jets), read in part, 'Retention of foreign registered aircraft in Nigeria will not be permitted beyond a period of 15 days from date of entry. However, the Minister of Aviation may, in certain circumstances, grant the extension of this period for up to 60 days.'