The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has congratulated Air Peace for making a firm order of brand new B737 MAX 8 from Boeing Corporation INC.
Commending the airline, the Director General of the NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman said the regulatory authority had been urging Nigerian airlines to go for such modern aircraft, which are more efficient so that they would be able to compete with international carriers.
Usman who spoke to THISDAY in a telephone chat on Monday, said by ordering 10 more aircraft into its fleet, Air Peace has increased the number of aircraft in the country.
“I commend Air Peace for ordering modern aircraft. This is what we have been asking the airlines to do because modern aircraft are more efficient and will enable them to compete with international airlines and with that number of aircraft on order, Air Peace has increased capacity,” he said.
Reacting to the protest by airlines operators recently over the use of aircraft owned by regional airline, Asky by Dana Air, Usman said that the regulation allows the need to fill a gap when an airline takes its aircraft away for maintenance, but that it was meant to last for a short time provided that it is in tune with the provisions of the regulation.
He said that one of the objectives of NCAA is to provide level playing field for all operators, noting that any other airline that has similar challenge can approach the regulatory authority tomorrow and if the conditions are met, NCAA would allow it.
The Director General who spoke about the aviation industry noted that the improvement being recorded by different agencies in the sector is made possible because of strong regulation of the sector by NCAA.
He said that there are a lot of things that are done to ensure that there is collective goal to keep the nation’s airspace safe and these include self regulation, effective regulation of other agencies and airlines.
“That the aviation industry is safe and that other agencies in the industry are getting approval is because of the strong regulation of NCAA. We work together to make the industry save and this is testified by the good performance of the agencies in the industry.”
Usman also said that the recent safety award given to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by the Airport Council International (ACI Africa) is a testimony of the strong regulation of the industry by NCAA, which certified the airport last year.
He also expressed appreciation by the action being taken by the Enugu state government to work with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to upgrade facilities at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.