NAAPE chides House C’tte on Aviation over interference on AOC issuance..says NCAA is autonomous

The National Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, has called on the National Assembly to stop undermining the autonomy of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA as it will have negative impact on the industry.

The call is coming on the heels of the recent dircetive by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation to the NCAA to suspend the issuance of Air Operators Certificate, AOC to a new airline called the Nigeria Eagle to be floated by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.

Two unions in the industry, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the national union of pensioners in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN branch two weeks ago petitioned the House Committee on Aviation over N19b debts owed by Arik Air.

They said the airline soon to be transformed to a new airline called Nigeria Eagle, NG Eagle to be floated by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria should not be issued an Air Operators Certificate to commence flight.

In one of its sittings, the House Committee on Aviation last week directed the regulatory agency to suspend the issuance of AOC to NG Eagle.

At a news conference in Lagos, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE appealed to the Committee to tread with caution as such political inteference in the regulatory functions of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA would have catastrophic consequences on the industry .

President of NAAPE, Mr. Abednego Galadinma said, the NCAA was empowered to regulate aviation in Nigeria without political interference, adding that, the contention on whether the NCAA should give the NG eagle an AOC or not was unnecessary and uncalled for.

“Whereas we recognize the constitutional role of the legislature to oversight the agency but a situation where they dictate who the authority should give an AOC or not in our opinion amount to gross political interference and is counterproductive, it falls short of global best practices”.

He urged the Director General of the NCAA to go ahead with the processes in the issuance of AOC to NG Eagle as information available to them revealed they have met all the requirements as stipulated by the regulation.

Mr. Galadinma declared that, NAAPE was in full support of AMCOM’s initiative to float an airline as it would further guarantee jobs for its members and create more opportunities for the teeming unemployed pilots and engineers.

The NAAPE President also issued a 3 weeks ultimatum to the NCAA to address the greg areas in the Conditions of Service for safety inspectors in the agency.

He said, failure to address the issue at the end of the ultimatum, the services of its members would be withdrawn and would instruct them not to participate in any pre activities of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO forthcoming audit.

“The poor renumeration and working conditions of the inspectors poses serious threats on safety as there is dearth of qualified inspectors to carryout safety oversight on operators”.

The body called on the Minister of Finance, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Salaries and Wages Commission and the Management of the NCAA to conclude and approve the release of the documents.

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