The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday warned members of the public, especially politicians, to desist from patronising unauthorised aircraft charter operators as well as their services.
The NCAA stated that all holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) are the only authorised operators to carry out charter operations in the country.
The Guardian learnt that about 10 of such unauthorised operators are enjoying the backing of some top political office holders to make fortunes from political rallies.However, the apex regulator has, however, threatened to stop charter operations by unauthorised permit holders forthwith, and that “any operator caught engaging in such unauthorised services will have its AOC suspended or revoked.”
General Manager, Public Relations at the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the moves were in line with the agency’s statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the public and that of the investors in the aviation sector.
“Any member of the public transacting business with any unauthorised operator will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover. The NCAA will continue to ensure strict compliance to safety regulations as violations will be viewed seriously,” Adurogboye said.
Meanwhile, a source said: “It is the loss of the chartered service charge due to NCAA that probably made it to raise this alert and alarm.”
“Moreover, electioneering campaigns are getting to high level and chartered flights are expected to be increasing in numbers too possibly higher than they had been in the last two years and so should be the chartered service charges due to NCAA.
“The private aircraft operators not licensed for chartered are most likely to cash in into the electioneering campaign season to make quick monies at the expense of the licensed operators and NCAA. This is the reason for the alert and alarm.”