NCAA grounds First Nation Airways operations, withdraws AOC

*MD of First Nation Airways, Mr. Kayode Odukoya

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has grounded the operations of First Nation Airways indefinitely and directed the airline to return the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to the agency.

In a statement issued today in Lagos, the spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said the agency had issued a letter titled ‘Notice of suspension of AOC’ with reference NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/18/2304 dated May 11, 2018 to the airline.

He said the suspension of the airline’s operations “is sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of AOC by the airline.”

He said the airline was engaging in illegal operations in violation of extant rules.

He said the airline’s AOC had expired adding that the airline did not have at least two airworthy aircraft capable of servicing its approved schedule as required by Part (2) (ii) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.

“Consequently, the airline’s AOC was, upon renewal, restricted to non-scheduled operation, (Charter) only.

“However, First Nation Airways embarked on scheduled operations with continuous advertisement of its services and sold tickets at its Check-in counters in Lagos and Abuja Airports.

“The Authority had earlier notified the Airline that it was investigating these violations. Subsequently, by a letter dated 31st August 2017, the airline was directed to stop the illegal operations forthwith, warning that failure to desist would lead to a suspension of its operating authorisation.

“On further investigation, it was discovered that the Airline had disregarded all warnings and continued with the unauthorised and illegal operations in violation of its AOC terms and conditions of issuance.

‘This is contrary to the provisions of Part of the Nig.CARS 2015 which provides that ‘Each AOC holder shall at all times, continue in compliance with the AOC terms and conditions of issuance, and maintenance requirements in order to hold that certificate’.

“The Authority has therefore determined that, pursuant to Section 35(2), (3) (a) (ii) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006, First Nation Airways is no longer fit to operate air transport business under the authority of the AOC.

“Accordingly, the Airline’s AOC has been suspended indefinitely, with effect from the 11th May, 2018, when it received the notice.

“In addition, the operators of the Airline are expected to return the AOC to the Authority’s Director of Operations and Training within seven (7) days of receiving the letter,” said Adurogboye.

However, NCAA said the airline would be given a second chance any time it (airline) turns over a new leaf.

“Anytime the Airline demonstrates ability and willingness to comply with the extant regulations, the Authority shall review the Airline’s operations and restore the AOC to enable it commence operations,” said Adurogboye.

He said NCAA would take exception to the “violations of the Nig.CARS and shall continue to enforce compliance through application of appropriate sanctions for any infractions.”







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