NCAA Threatens to Sanction Airlines over Access to Aircraft Cockpit

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Chinedu Eze

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) has threatened to sanction airline operators and flight crew that admit unauthorised persons into the cockpit of commercial aircraft during all phases of flight operation.

In a circular addressed to airline operators in Nigeria, signed by the Director General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, the agency said that it has been brought to its notice a worrisome development in which passengers are admitted into the flight deck (cockpit), especially on commercial air transport flights.

“Aircraft flight decks are designated as a safe working environment and the presence of unauthorised persons is both a distraction to safe flight operations and a potential security risk. In addition it is a violation to Nig.CARs8.5.1.12 and 8.5.1.13.

“All operators and flight crew are hereby warned to detest from admitting unauthorised persons into the cockpit during all phases of flight operations with immediate effect,” Nuhu said.

Captain Nuhu insisted that any violation or non-compliance with the directive would result in the imposition of applicable sanctions under the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations on both the operator and the flight crew.

Meanwhile, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has called on the federal government to upwardly review the salaries of NCAA personnel.

Onyema made the call at the 2021 Brazil-Nigeria Aviation and Defence Trade Forum 2021 organised by the Embassy of Brazil.

In a statement signed by Air Peace spokesman, Stanley Olisa and made available to THISDAY yesterday, Onyema stressed that the salary review is needed for the aviation regulatory body to attract and retain the best talents with the requisite experience and qualifications to discharge their oversight responsibilities efficiently.

He stated that the agency was not able to poach top talents in the industry because its salary structure is not competitive, adding that the federal government should remove the NCAA from the civil service salary structure.

Onyema remarked that some of the technical personnel working in the agency are due for retirement and tired but still in service because NCAA cannot afford to hire quality staff to replace them due to relatively poor remuneration.

“Their salaries should be upwardly reviewed to match the airlines’ salary structure, as nobody wants to go there to work but they (current staff) are doing their best, which is very commendable. This is a patriotic call”, Onyema said.