The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has fined Lyxor International, a non-scheduled general aviation operator the sum of N9.5 million for severally violating the terms of its approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.
NCAA said its Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) had on February 16, 2017, during a routine Ramp Inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found the airline culpable of committing the infraction.
Upon the discovery of the infraction, NCAA said the aircraft marked T7-YES was immediately grounded by its Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
However, NCAA said the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3 million on volitional condition on account of possible civil sanction.
That was in addition to an undertaking to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation.
NCAA stated in its letter of sanction: “After due consideration of your response to our Letter of Investigation (LOI), it was found unsatisfactory. We found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between the 11th of December, 2016 and the 15th of February, 2017.
“Therefore, in accordance with IS 188.8.131.52. Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015) you are hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services. This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500, 000 per violation.
‘The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6, 500,000 (i.e. N500, 000 x 13). For the thirteen (13) times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.
“In addition, for the six times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3, 000,000 (that is, N500, 000 x 6).
“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6, 500,000 only) having made a deposit of N3, 000,000 towards possible sanctions.
NCAA said the airline is expected to pay the fines within seven days of receipt of the letter.
Meanwhile, the director general of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman has advocated for regular interactions between the agency and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).
Speaking during a meeting with the AON members in his office in Lagos Muhtar said all airline operations must be carried out within the ambit of the law.
He said the meeting was important to discuss the various issues affecting the aviation industry and proffer ways to build on the laudable gains so far.
Among the issues that were deliberated upon was the directive by the NCAA to the airlines to meet the deadline to join the automation platform for seamless remittance of 5 per cent ticket and cargo sales charge.
Others were that the airlines should take advantage of the window of Billing Settlement Plan (BSP), simulator training, aircraft inspection.