The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that it has defined regulatory condition that spells out ways an airline can obtain Air Operator Certificate (AOC) or renew it after it has already started operation.
The Authority said its insistence on issuance of airline licences is one of the processes to ensure that no airline cuts corner in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) regulation. It noted that this has come at a great expense to prospective operators who find it extremely difficult to go through the tortuous five stages of certification.
Spokesman for the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye said â€œit is laughable when people who do not know how the system operates say that airlines borrow aircraft to deceive NCAA into issuing them AOC licenseâ€. He dismissed such assumption, adding that the agency has even made it more difficult and stringent to cheat the system.
Recently, it was alleged that one of the private airline operators, Omni Blue borrowed aircraft to meet NCAA condition, but NCAA explained that Omni Blu Aviation limited got her AOC certification in 2015 and as at today, referencing the NCCA Document and Omniblu Operational Specification, Omniblu has five helicopters and three aeroplanes on her AOC. – HS123-850XP (5N-SPL); Challenger 604 (N880ET); and Boeing 737 Freighter (5N-IZB).
For Helicopters, Omni Blu Aviation has, Two Agusta Westland 139 (5N-BTR) and (5N-BQB), Two Bell 4125 (D-HIPP), (D-HAFW) and One Bell 212 (D-HBZT).
Adurogboye also explained that there are five processes for granting of AOC to any interested persons.
â€œThese requirements are pre-application phase. This entails initial enquiry or request about NCAAâ€™s certification; obtaining of Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) and advisory; provision of forms to prospective applicants, which NCAA receives and reviews
â€œThe next stage is document compliance phase which involves certification team reviewing applicantâ€™s documents for compliance acceptance/approval. This also includes formal application, letter of compliance, training and acceptance. The others are AOC process is called Demonstration and Inspection Phase which involves evaluation by certification team, and applicantâ€™s demonstration of complianceâ€™ evaluation of management effectiveness, inspection of station(s) facilities, flight operations, maintenance and records,â€ Adurogboye said.
He said the next is called certification phase which allows the intending operator for approval of AOC and operation specification with coordination and with Director for Safety Oversight and the Director General of NCAA.
â€œNot a few believe that the tough conditions for acquiring AOC have made over 26 airlines to stall processes for their licenses. The operators that have terminated their AOC processes are Jet Support Services, Air First (abandoned since 2015) got to stage two. Air Taraba, Air Jupiter, Continental Aerospace, Jet Leasing Support, Quorum Aviation, Tropical Arctie, Xejet, Revillo were in stage three,â€ the NCAA spokesman said.