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Airline operators kick against FG's policy

08 May 2013, 09:00

Abuja - Stakeholders in the aviation sector on Tuesday in Abuja faulted Federal Government’s launching of the new National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) without inputs from the private sector.

The stakeholders raised their concerns during an interactive meeting with owners of foreign and Nigeria registered business aircraft, organised by the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aviation Minister Stella Oduah was represented at the occasion by Ms Ene Ita, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation Reform.

Capt. Mohammed Joji, the Secretary-General of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), said the global trend is to reduce functions of aviation ministries, noting that the new policy had enlarged responsibilities of the federal Ministry of Aviation.

"Creating the General Aviation (GA) under the mandate of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was wrong, and the importation of aircraft into the country should be among the duties of NCAA," he said.

The President of Topbrass Aviation, Mr Roland Iyayi, who said stakeholders were not carried along in the formulation of the policy, expressed the need to review it saying many things were wrong with it.

"One of such is the process of getting a licence to import aircraft which the Federal Government should have considered," Iyayi said.

Iyayi said he spent 13 months before he could get a licence to import aircraft, adding it was given after intervention by highly-placed individuals.

He called for a forum of all stakeholders to address loopholes in the policy.

Mr Ego Boyo, the Chairman, Overland Airline, called on the government to encourage private aircraft owners and pilots.

Julius Nwagwu, The Deputy Controller-General in charge of Tariff and Trade Matters, Nigerian Customs Service, said there were private airlines operating in the country without proper documentation.

"There are those who were meant to drop passengers and fly back, but are still found within the airport premises for long periods. This is against the Customs laws," he said.

He raised the issue of private jets coming into the country without documentation, which he said "is fully against customs laws".

"We need to highlight these issues in the policy before it is released. This has become imperative so that operators will be guided," he said.

The minister said the manner in which GA was operated before the NCAP 2013 policy was unacceptable, adding that the mode of operation did not comply with international standards.


Tags aviation

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