The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the authority will never lower its safety standards for any airline seeking to renew its Air Operator Certificate, AOC.
Captain Nuhu who stated this in an interview with reporters in Lagos emphasized that, the safety of passengers must be ensured with the airworthiness of the aircraft as well as its qualified personnel which includes the pilots, maintenance engineers, accountable managers among others in line with the Nigeria civil aviation regulations NCARs.
He said, the recent complaints by one of the operator, Tropical Arctics Logistics, TAL over the refusal of the NCAA to renew its AOC was based on the fact that, the operator did not meet the regulatory requirements to be re-issued the certificate.
“NCAA has no reason whatsoever to refuse the renewal of anybody’s application. TAL does not meet the requirements for the renewal of its AOC and its AOC will not be renewed until they meet all the regulatory requirements, simple nothing more, nothing less”.
Captain Nuhu stressed that, no amount of blackmail by the TAL operator would force the regulator to renew its AOC, adding that, if the operator had any evidence of high-handedness or illegal demands by any of its staff, they should report to the appropriate security agencies or come to the NCAA for discussion with evidence.
“It is unfortunate if he has any evidence against any of my staff he does not bring the evidence, he goes to the press and start shouting all over it is sad and unfortunate, if he has any evidence let him bring it and I will treat the case appropriately”.
The Operator’s Chief Executive Officer, COO, Mr. Olufemi Adeniji had accused the regulatory agency of deviating from the standards and recommended practices as set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO in the renewal process of AOC and alleged some of the NCAA officers were corrupt.
“In life there is a limit to every patience especially when it pertains to corruption which becomes a threat to one’s investment. TAL has reached its limit and it has decided to suspend its action in following through with AOC renewal despite concluding on the phase 3 of the called process”.
He stated that, his airline had met all its requirements for AOC and also wondered why the NCAA also refused to to grant its application for an AOC extension.
Mr. Adeniji said, its operations have been grounded since last year with a huge loss of over $7m.