The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called on airlines operating in the country to intensify their efforts at complying with the industry’s safety procedures to avoid serious incidents and accidents.
The Director-General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu, made the call during a media interactive session with the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the director-general was reacting to the suspension of Azman Air by NCAA over non-compliance with the safety procedures.
Mr Nuhu said it was NCAA’s responsibility and duty to guide and work with the operators and airlines and assist them to ensure that they were in compliance with its regulations.
He said the authority still took the issue of safety as its number one priority including the safe operation of the airlines and operators.
The director-general said the NCAA suspended the airline because it had concrete evidence against it so as to prevent loss of lives in the industry.
“However, before we take action, we must have concrete evidence. We must have a trend,’’ Mr Nuhu said.
According to him, ”we see what is happening and we do a risk-based analysis and we decide to take action.
“This is because grounding an airline has serious repercussion both on the availability of service to the public and also to the finances and reputation of the airline.
“When we reached a point that we were not happy, we called for a Zoom meeting. I could have taken the decision on my own but I am a human being and I know I have my shortcomings.
“So, I called my entire team. We had a Zoom meeting with the airline management for about four to five hours before we came to that decision to suspend their operations.
“I want to say here clearly that it is not a punitive measure.
“As I am talking to you, our team met with Azman team and we had a very good discussion. We told them what the issues were,” he said.
Mr Nuhu said NCAA had a very good discussion with the management of the suspended airline and they went through each of the issues one by one.
He said the response NCAA had from the management of the airline had been very encouraging and very positive.
”I have seen a shift and I can guarantee you that by the time Azman complies with all what we want, the public will see a different Azman Airline,” he said.
Mr Nuhu noted that that was its purpose as it was not here to kill any airline or to ruin it but to guide them to operate safely, efficiently and to provide the necessary services to the travelling public.
He said the airline had started employing people and it was really working and cooperating, saying that he was happy and felt very relieved with the response of the management of the airline. (NAN)
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