The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed all the airlines operating in the country to be realistic in their flight planning and schedules as it would no longer tolerate complaints of flight delays and cancellations.
The agency handed down the warning recently after a stakeholders’ meeting with the operators.
The forum was attended by 13 International airlines, eight domestic airlines, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd (BASL).
During the discussions, officials of the NCAA requested the airline operators to table their challenges that could be the likely causes of flight delays and cancellations.
In response, the airlines itemised various challenges amongst including fuel supply, need for improvement in infrastructure at the airports, unruly passengers and traffic on airport road, among others.
Responding, the managements of NCAA and FAAN assured the operators that the operators that the challenges will be looked into and tackled accordingly.
The parties therefore resolved that airlines should always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status as well as provide the right to care to passengers in times of delays/cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19.
It was also resolved that: NCAA/FAAN should liaise with the federal ministry of transportation to replace fuel hydrants and connect supply points to the airports; FAAN/airport operators/owners should ensure facilities like lightings, carousels, cooling systems, among others are functional at the airports; the federal ministry of transportation should liaise with the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) on fixing the underground pipeline layout from Apapa to Lagos Airport to minimize surface transportation of fuel; FAAN should beef up security at the airports to prevent unlawful interference; airlines’ representatives should be available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force; the representative of FAAN management should ensure action is expedited on the upgrade of lighting on Runway 18L/36R at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
They also resolved that: airlines and airport operators should maintain constant communication; airlines should always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19; FAAN should ensure that the CCTV cameras are always operational; airlines’ inputs should be considered in the design/construction of airports to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past; airlines should develop responsive crisis management systems and file their operation disruption manuals with NCAA as required by law; domestic airlines/operators encouraged to enter into interlining arrangements; requests from stakeholders/airlines for the provision of 24-hour operations at daylight airports should be forwarded to FAAN backed with economic realities on a sustainable level.
Besides, all the airlines were advised to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings with passengers.
Passengers must get value for their money. While the NCAA and FAAN are doing everything to resolve all the issues enumerated, flight delays and cancellations will not be acceptable,” reiterated NCAA.