Home News FG orders $100,000 fine on aircraft for air-traffic violations

FG orders $100,000 fine on aircraft for air-traffic violations

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ABUJA – The Federal Government on Tuesday ordered aviation regulators to impose a civil penalty of 100,000 U.S. dollars on any aircraft engaged in air-traffic violations.

The Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, made this known when the committee on foreign registered, privately owned aircraft operations that was set up following the allegations of unauthorised operations by some operators, presented their reports to him in Abuja.
He said following the findings and recommendations of the committee headed by Capt. Victor Iriobe: “I have accepted the recommendations on FOCC and MCC certificate holders engaged in commercial total services.’’
Chidoka has accepted March 1 for all foreign registered private categories of aircraft that are listed on the Opspecs per G of some Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) holders must be removed from that status by NCAA.
“We will revoke the FOCC, MCC and NCAA should revoke that immediately and impose the penalty of 100,000 dollars on those aircraft.
“Consequently the aircraft operations must remain grounded until NCAA approves an alternative propositional status for the aircraft.
“I assured Nigerians that the findings and recommendations will be implemented with the time line associated with them,’’ Chidoka said.
He said that there was need to strengthen the Department of General Aviation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“We will strengthen the department to ensure that they move into full operations to ensure that operation of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) come under serious scrutiny.
Chidoka also ordered the NCAA to review its regulations on Per G to ensure that it bring into aliment with global best practices to further strengthen the department.
“I have given them a timeline of three months including the 60 days to interact with stakeholders and come up with amendment of the regulations to ensure that no aircraft operator in Nigeria hides under the Per G.
Besides, Chidoka ordered the review of the GAT operations and directed NCAA to ensure that reviewed regulations should be published within the next shortest time.
He assured Nigerians of the commitment of the ministry and his personal commitment to ensure that safety of air users in Nigeria was guaranteed.
“I am also using this opportunity to warn most of the operators of these private airlines some of them are starting to engage intimidations.
“Some are sending us threatening letters of what happened to previous ministers, I want to assure them that this minister will not be intimidated.
“I want to assure them that I will not change the rules for anybody in Nigeria and I have the confident of Mr President, that the rules are clearly made, we will apply the rules without fear or favour,’’ Chidoka warned.
He said all aircraft operators, no matter how highly placed they are in Nigeria, must work within the

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ambit of the laws and regulations of NCAA.
Chidoka said that there would be no exceptions to these rules and “I will not authorise any wavers or exceptions’’.
To those of who engage in intimidation and threats, he said: “I want to assure them that those days are over in the Aviation Ministry.
“We have no high horses, we will not fear anybody, we will not be intimidated by anybody, we are committed to make sure that anybody under the purview of the regulations of NCAA must obey the rules and we will not shift on this.’’
Chidoka assured operators in the commercial and GAT that any aircraft that does comply with the laws NCAA would impose maximum sanction.
He promised necessary support to airlines in Nigeria to ensure that they operate in sustainable and profitably, saying “we will make sure that we give them all the necessary support to make them viable entities in Nigeria.
“We will not accept hitches of the rules, the president has given his full commitment and the political will required to ensure that our aviation industry remains a model for Africa’’.
Earlier, Iriobe said in his report that the committee made a total of 10 findings and 16 recommendations.
The report identified series of systematic challenges in NCAA and NAMA that had hindered the implementation of effective surveillance and enforcement of relevant regulations.
The chairman said these included management interference, poor inter-agencies communication, lack of complementary agencies cooperation and inadequate technical manpower. (NAN)

 

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