By Chinedu Eze
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has commenced the assessment of Nigerian’s aviation sector with a visit to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday.
A four-member team from the FAA arrived Nigeria weekend to conduct the audit which would take place from August 21 to 25, 2017, according to the spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye.
The members of the team are Louis A. Alvarez, Team leader, L.P.Vanstory, Operations Specialist, Benjamin Garrido, Airworthiness Specialist and Jeffrey Klang, Attorney.
NCAA said the FAA officials would assess the state’s aviation law, regulations and oversight capability in accordance with the eight critical elements as defined in ICAO document 9734.
In addition, during the assessment, the team would need to visit the facilities of an Airline Operators Certificate (AOC) holder.
They would also look at the operations and maintenance organisations.
At the end of the assessment, there would be a debriefing session at the headquarters of the NCAA, the regulatory authority said.
If certified, FAA would renew the Category One Safety Status, which it awarded to Nigeria in August 2010, when the country was able to meet its stringent safety standards.
The Category 1 Safety Status enabled Nigerian airlines to fly to the US and for the country’s registered commercial aircraft to fly to Nigeria and it was after the certification was obtained by Nigeria that United Airlines, Delta Air Lines started flying to Nigeria and Arik Air started flying to US destinations with Nigerian registered aircraft.
FAA Category I Safety Status is important in the air transport sector because other international carriers and aviation institutions use it along with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification to take decisions on the safety status of every country on airline operation.
With the certification, any airline in the world can fly to Nigeria if the country meets its commercial objective.