NCAA licenses 26 airlines for flight operations
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has released a list of licensed scheduled commercial and charter airlines in its registry as parts of measures to clamp down on illegal charter airline operations in the country.
In the list released through a public notice on Sunday, the NCAA said only 26 operators had been cleared 'to carry passengers and cargo for a commercial fee.'
The approved airlines include: Aero Contractors Nigeria, Allied Air, Arik Air, Associated Aviation, Atlantic Aviation, Bristow Helicopters, Caverton Helicopters, Chanchangi Airlines and Dana Airlines.
Others are Dornier Aviation, FirstNation Airways, Hak Air, IRS Airlines, Jed Air, Kabo Airlines, King Airlines, Max Air and Med-View Airlines.
Odengene Air Shuttle Service, Overland Airways, Pan African Airlines, Skybird Air, Skyjet Aviation, Skypower Express Airways, Topbrass Aviation and West Link Airways complete the list.
It said the listed companies were the only holders of Air Operators Certificates.
In a footnote to the list, the Director-General, NCAA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, said it had come to the notice of the agency that 'several unlicensed operators have engaged in the extremely dangerous practice of providing air transportation without meeting the regulatory requirements and without appropriate insurance coverage.'
Akinkuotu further said, 'Some of these illegal operators do not have the requisite maintenance facilities, thus seriously endangering the lives of Nigerians. Worse still, these illegal operators employ mostly foreigners as crew, thereby denying Nigerians employment opportunities in the industry.
'It is criminal to engage in commercial charter services without a valid Air Operators Certificate.'
Meanwhile, the NCAA has said its newly introduced charges for non-scheduled commercial operators have replaced all previous charges such as the landing and parking fees, the en-route navigational charges and the passenger service charge.
In a memo, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondents, the regulatory agency said Nigerian-registered aircraft would pay only $3,000 (N480,000) per flight, while foreign-registered aircraft would pay $4,000 (N640,000) per flight.
The agency, in the memo, also said that private jet owners were exempted from paying the charges.
According to the memo, the charges are based on the tariffs that are being charged by scheduled commercial operators for their services.
'This segment of the air transport industry is one of the key focal areas of the Federal Ministry of Aviation in its ongoing industry transformation efforts and major investments have been and are still being made to provide appropriate infrastructural facilities for their services,' it stated.
The Co-ordinating General Manager, Corporate Communications, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati, however, said the charges were not meant for everybody operating private jets, but for those operating on commercial basis, including foreign-registered and locally registered aircraft.