Lagos – The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to sanction airlines that fail to comply with standard safety measure.
The warning, which might result in companies that were not financially secure to carry out maintenance, comes amid a spate of crashes in the country.
NCAA Director, Fola Akinkuotu, said accordingly, the agency had commenced the technical audit of domestic carriers to check their level of maintenance as well as personnel fitness.
He warned that any airline that fell short of standard maintenance requirements would be immediately grounded.
He noted that every airline operating in the country must be financially sound to be able to carry out the effective maintenance of its fleet.
To ensure adequate maintenance of aircraft by the operators, Akinkuotu said every domestic carrier must obtain the International Air Travel Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) as a minimum requirement to have an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and carry out flight services in Nigeria.
“We are going to be doing a joint audit, working with foreign audit firms too to ensure that there is complete validation of all the airlines. This is to give the public the confidence, but further to continue what NCAA is supposed to be doing, which is oversight and monitoring,” he said.
The prospect of the majority of companies losing their licences did not concern him.
“If we have only two airlines that are strong enough to operate, that will be fine with us. We are not here to stifle growth in the industry but we want to ensure that there is safety in the system. This is prompting us to reduce the airlines and weed out ones that lack the financial muscle to continue operating safely,” Akinkuotu said.
– CAJ News