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NCAA grounds Amaechi's aircraft

29 April 2013, 10:02

Lagos- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Saturday grounded Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers' aircraft.

The authority said that the aircraft was on ``illegal operation'' in the country.

Benedict  Adeyinka, the Director of Airworthiness and Standards, NCAA, said this while addressing newsmen in Lagos.

Consequently, the NCAA said it had grounded the Bombardier-BD 700, Global Express Aircraft, with registration number N565RS.

He added that the aircraft's clearance approval expired since April 2.

``By our records, the last flight clearance for this aircraft was approved for operations on Thursday March 28, 2013, on Accra/Port Harcourt and Accra to terminate on April 2, 2013.

``With this development, the aircraft has exceeded the extra two days or 48 hours leeway for it to leave the country,'' he said.

He said the clearance for the aircraft was sought by Caverton Helicopters on March 27.

Adeyinka said the certificate of registration of the aircraft showed that its owner was Bank of Utah Trustees of Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.

Adeyinka, however, said that in spite of the expiration of its clearance to fly, NCAA did not ground the aircraft prior to request for start up in Akure on Friday.

``But consequently, this aircraft in reference, is hereby grounded at any airport that is located right now in the country."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aircraft return trip to Port Harcourt from Akure on Friday was delayed because the pilot allegedly refused to submit the passengers manifest.

Nnamdi Udoh, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), made the allegation at a news conference in Lagos.

Amaechi was among the dignitaries that attended the burial of Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, former Deputy Gov. of Ekiti State in Ado Ekiti on Friday.



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