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House Protests Return Of Dana Airlines

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ABUJA, January 07, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives Monday kicked against the resumption of flight services in the country by Dana Airlines.

Dana resumed services on January 4 after seven months of inactivity following the crash of one of its aircraft in Lagos in which over 163 persons were killed.

Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruika Onyejeocha, who disclosed this in Abuja, said all issues relating to the crash have not been resolved, including issues of compensation to victims, air safety and sundry issues.

She explained that the committee was aware of the displeasure and concerns of Nigerians over the resumption of flights by Dana Airlines.

The lawmaker also appealed to Nigerians to be patient, adding that the House was committed to the safety of the country 's airspace and would do everything within its powers to bring sanity to the sector.

She promised that as soon as the House resumes from its Christmas break next week, the issue would be looked into.

It will be recalled that Dana Airlines was banned from flying after it crashed near Lagos on June 3,2012 killing 163 passengers and crew members on board.

Consequently, the House had last Dec. 3, recommended the revocation of the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of Dana Airline, saying it was not issued in compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Civil Regulations Guideline 2009.

The House equally indicted the director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, and called for his dismissal and prosecution for alleged professional and criminal negligence in the plane crash.

It recommended that the air operation certificate (AOC) of Dana Airlines be withdrawn as it was not issued in compliance with the NCAA regulatory guidelines.

The House submitted that the "NCAA under the leadership of the current Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren, brought in MD83 to operate in Nigeria even when there is no licensed engineer rated on the aircraft."

Also recommended for dismissal was the NCAA inspector, Engineer Suleiman Akwuh, "who did pre-arrival inspection on the ill-fated Dana Aircraft without pre¬requisite professional qualification", expressing dismay that Demuren employed him in spite of his deficiencies.

Regarding the affected airline, the House recommended that "Dana current AOC should be revoked because it was not issued in compliance with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Civil Regulations Guideline 2009."