NCAA Begins Demolition of Telecoms Masts

A Mast used to illustrate the story [Photo: techislet.com]
A Mast used to illustrate the story [Photo: techislet.com]

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said it would immediately commence the demolition of one of Africa’s fastest growing telecommunications companies, Globacom Nigeria Limited, in different locations within Nigeria.

The authority had earlier threatened to demolish over 7,000 telecommunications mast and towers, saying they blatantly failed to obtain the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC).

However, the authority through its spokesperson, Sam Adurogboye, later withdrew the threat. He said the NCAA decided to withdraw the threat following the compliance of the affected companies with its directive to obtain the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC).

In a statement signed on Tuesday by Mr Adurogboye, the regulatory authority said it is compelled to, as the 30-day ultimatum issued to the telecommunication service providers have expired.

It also said the demolition exercise will also affect some banks and financial institutions who took exception to the authority’s regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.

According to the statement, prior to the expiration of the ultimatum, the regulatory authority wrote a letter of reminder to the affected organizations to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) for their masts.

“It will be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecom operators against violation of safety regulations. A 30-day ultimatum was therefore handed down for compliance.

“This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 12.1.7.1.3.1 which stipulates that No person or organization shall put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organization is a holder of Aviation Height Clearance Certificate granted under this regulation.

“In line with this, the Regulatory Authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation in the country irrespective of the height and location.

“It should, therefore, be noted that under the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, section 30(3) (1), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation,” it said.

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It also said some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts while others have not.

The regulatory authority listed the names of the telecommunication operators who are yet to regularise their masts as; Globacom Nigeria with 7,012 masts, United Bank of Africa with 439 masts, Guaranty Trust Bank with 295 masts, Unity Bank with 217 masts and Sterling Bank with 159 masts.

Others are Union Bank with 92 masts, First City Monument Bank with 205 masts, Fidelity Bank with 83 masts, and Access Bank with 303 masts.

It said a total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned instantly.

‘The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to reiterate that it will continue to apply requisite sanctions for violation of extant regulations, especially, where the resolve of the Authority is tested,” it said.

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