The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has disclosed that it stopped the last minute attempt to obtain an Air Operator Certificate for the controversial Nigeria Air.
The authority said in a letter obtained by NewsGazette in Lagos that it denied the embryonic airline to proceed to the second phase of the AOC certification because it had not fulfillled the important conditions.
This is contained in a letter marked NCAA/ DOLTS/GEN/ Vol. 111/16123, addressed to the managing director, Nigeria Air, entitled: ‘Re: request to proceed to phase two of AOC certification’ and signed by Capt. O. O. Lawani.
The letter reads: “The Authority is in receipt of your letter dated 25th May, 2023 on the subject matter.
“Quite contrary to our earlier letter of 16th May, 2023 which enumerated the documents to be submitted with formal application form OPS 002, your letter of request to proceed to Phase Two has no inclusion of a formal application form and the necessary documents referenced in the formal application form. Hence, the certification process cannot progress to stage two without these required documents.
“Please be reminded that your post holder’s letter of commitment to Nigeria Air has a tenure of three months and as such expires now.”
To obtain the AOC an airline has to go through five phases.
Nigeria Air was on Phase 1 when the former minister of aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika ‘rented’ an aircraft to unveil the airline to a motley crowd on May 26, 2023 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The first stage is the pre-application phase in which the NCAA will appoint a certification team to process the pre-application statement of intent form (AC-OPS 001); stage two involves a formal application for intending entrant (s) in which documents and manuals (including the curricula vitae of key management personnel) must be submitted for evaluation. The minimum timeframe for the formal application phase is two weeks.
Stage three involves document evaluation in which the NCAA will review the applicant’s manuals and other related documents and attachments to ensure conformity with the applicable regulations and safe operating practices. The minimum time frame for the document evaluation phase is three months.
The fourth stage involves demonstration and inspection, a thorough audit by the certification team at the applicant’s premises to ensure the proposed procedures are effective and that the applicant’s facilities and equipment meet the NCAA’s regulatory requirements.
The last stage is the certification which means that the applicant has met all the regulatory requirements of the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations during which the NCAA would issue the AOC with the appropriate specifications and ratings. After the issuance of the AOC, the applicant can engage in commercial aviation activities in Nigeria.