By Chinedu Eze
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said henceforth it would partner with the Nigerian Police to prosecute any passenger or airport user whose action or behaviour goes against the regulations that guide proceedings at the airports.
NCAA was reacting to the recent action by an unruly passenger who resorted to smoking on board an aircraft in abeyance to civil aviation regulations, who has been handed over to the police for prosecution.
According to spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, the passenger (name withheld) was on board South African Airways Flight 060 from Johannesburg to Lagos and was alleged to be smoking on board the aircraft in contravention of Section 58 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, Part.17.97.2 (a) and (c) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulation 2012 (Nig.CARs).
Adurogboye said the plan to partner with police had reached an advanced stage as contained in correspondences between the Authority and the Nigeria Police Force, pledging to collaborate to ensure adequate investigation preceding the prosecution.
“In line with Part 22.214.171.124 of the Nig.CARs, the stipulated penalty for smoking on board an aircraft is imprisonment of not less than two months. It is important to note that according to the regulations all airlines should and must as part of pre-flight formalities and announcement that smoking is prohibited anywhere in the cabin including the toilet,” Adurogboye said.
He noted that the aforementioned culprit had however, failed to adhere to this warning.
“Therefore, NCAA will collaborate with the police to ensure prosecution. NCAA is committed to following this case to its logical conclusion to serve as a deterrence to others who possess the penchant to flout the authority’s regulations.
“In addition, our Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP) has been strengthened to ensure passengers get full value for their money and comfort,” Adurogboye added.