Chinedu Eze

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned any travel agency operating in Nigeria and was yet to register with the agency, saying such firm was violating extant Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

The NCAA noted that the controversy in certain quarters that lampoon the alleged absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies is misguided.

It said for the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) confers power on NCAA to register and issue certificates to travel agencies without which no travel agency shall operate in Nigeria.

“Part 18.9.1 (iii) of (Nig.CARs) unequivocally and incontrovertibly states that no person shall undertake the business of travel agency in Nigeria without obtaining a Certificate or License issued by the NCAA.

“As a corollary to this, Part 18.9.4.1 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) 2015 states that all travel agencies shall register with the authority after fulfilling the necessary requirements specified in IS18.9.1.2 (iii) to these regulations,” a statement from the agency signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said.

The agency also noted that the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, Part IX, Section 30 (4) (a) inter-alia empowers the authority to regulate, supervise and monitor the activities of travel and other Aviation Agents operating in Nigeria.

“To join the IATA BSP (International Air Transport Association Billing and Settlement Plan), Part 18.9.4.2. of the NCARs states that all registered travel agencies shall join and trade on IATA BSP Platform.

“It is important to note that the fulfilment of the aforementioned regulation Part 18.9.4.1 is a mandatory requirement for IATA to accept a travel agency on its BSP platform. However, it is after registration that a travel agent can commence business on the IATA BSP platform,” NCAA said.

The agency said it was taking concerted steps to instil sanity and orderliness into the operations of travel agencies in Nigeria.

The authority would be collaborating with IATA to provide a robust regulatory oversight on this sector of aviation downstream operations.

The NCAA explained that all IATA accredited agents have 60 days within which to register and obtain NCAA’s Certificate of Registration, which ultimatum commenced from May 7, 2019.

“On the strength of this, IATA has been directed not to accredit forthwith any agency without NCAA’s Certificate of Registration. Therefore, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will continue to carry out its regulatory oversight in all facets of air transport operations with all the seriousness that is required,” the agency added.