Ikeja - The Acting Director-General (DG), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Joyce Nkemakolam, has said that the new aviation policy will not threaten the authority’s autonomy or impact negatively on its functions.
Addressing journalists on Monday in Ikeja, Nkemakolam said that the policy would rather strengthen the agency as a regulator.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new policy provides for, among other things, establishment of an autonomous body for the economic regulation of the aviation sector.
Nkemakolam explained that what was enshrined in the new policy had been in operation.
The acting DG advised airline operators to adhere strictly to the regulations in the aviation sector to avoid grounding of their aircraft.
“If there is no violation or flouting of these regulations, of course, there will be no sanctions.
“We want to eradicate the culture of impunity,” he said.
The acting DG said that the authority would soon hold a meeting with all operators to further sensitise them to regulations guiding their operations.
On private jet ownership, Nkemakolam said that there were restrictions in the use of private jets for leisure.
He said that anybody flying with friends should ensure their adequate insurance.
"If you have a third party insurance policy, you can fly with friends. However, if you don’t, you are working outside the realm of your licence.
“You must make sure that those you intend to carry are covered,” he implored.
Nkemakolam said that there was a high level of compliance by airline operators to the Aviation Revenue Automation Programme.
“A meeting has been held between the NCAA and International Air Transport Association on the process to collect cargo taxes under the automation regime.
"We are tightening up loose ends,” he said.
According to him, the agency will soon re-issue Air Operator's Certificates (AOC) given before 2009.
Nkemakolam said that AOCs issued after 2009 were exempted.
“I also want to clear the air on the allusion that AOC takes a long time to be issued. I don’t agree with this.
“Our experience is that intending operators will come and we tell them to go and provide so and so.
"Some will go and will not come back in a long time probably due to financial constraints,” he said.