The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has called on the federal government to remove the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) from the civil service salary structure in order to enable the agency to attract the right caliber of personnel.
The AON made the call in a letter it wrote to the Senate on January 19, 2022, and addressed to the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
In the letter, the AON insisted that the request was of immediate safety concern of the aviation industry.
The AON explained that the NCAA was established to regulate the aviation industry, implement government policies in the industry and enforce the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards and recommended practices to ensure that the operators in the industry met the expected safety requirements.
It said: “In order to effectively carry out its important duties as highlighted above, the NCAA needs to attract and engage a team of technically sound professionals in virtually every field of aviation, notably flight operations, engineering, safety inspectors, dispatchers, cabin executives among others, so as to be able to conduct regular oversight of the industry.
“Sir, it is however sad to note that there is a growing level of deficiency today within the NCAA in the area of human capacity due to its inability to attract and retain experienced industry professionals as a result of its inadequate recruitment and salary regime compared to the offers they get from working for the airlines.”
The operators told the Senate that because of this situation, many inspectors are leaving the NCAA and the few that remained are not well-motivated and hardly enough to meet the requirements of the industry, adding that young personnel employed in the agency currently do not have the required experience.
AON ward that this would portend immediate danger to flight safety and flight operations, as the few hands remaining are either too old or inexperienced to undertake proper and adequate oversight functions over airlines’ operations.
“The safety challenges are real and should be addressed through legislation for the good of the industry and safety of the lives of the flying public. Sir, there is a need to, as matter of urgency, find a way to immediately address the problem in order to forestall a potential beckoning disaster.
“AON would therefore, like to use this medium to respectfully call on the National Assembly to urgently review the establishment Act of the NCAA and to immediately remove the agency from the civil service salary structure in order for the agency to be able to attract the urgently needed experts for the sake of safety,” the AON urged.