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Why NCAA extended operators certificate by 30 days- DG

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it has extended the period for the renewal of Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for airlines by 30 days to avoid disruption of flights in the industry.

The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, made this known to journalists while explaining various matters concerning the industry on Thursday in Lagos.

An AOC is the approval granted by NCAA to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purpose.

Nuhu said that the extension which would not be more than 30 days, was one of the measures to keep the system going.

He said that if the operator or NCAA could not complete the processes before the expiration of the AOC, the certificate would be extended.

“Extension is for the system to continue to ensure that all regulatory requirements are complied with for the renewal.

“Sometimes for some reasons, some operators are not able to meet certain requirements on time or may be on our own part.

“If we cannot complete the process, then, we say instead of disrupting the system, we give them extension for that period so that they can continue their operations.

“Before the extension completes, their renewal is given. So, we look at the situations, give them extension while we continue to work to complete the renewal process,” he explained.

The NCAA boss said that the renewal was not automatic, rather a process with steps, which should be completed.

”The most we have given, if I am not mistaken is 90 days. However, it is hardly more than 30 days. We do this thing so that the system will keep functioning,” he said.

The director-general further said that if airlines or NCAA was unable to complete the process, it would ground one or two airlines which could cause chaos in the industry.

On multiple entry, he stressed that the regulator was not responsible for negotiation of Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) as the decision was within the Ministry of Aviation.

Nuhu noted that the body made contributions and called on all to understand the true nature of negotiations.

He said: “Unfortunately, NCAA is not the one responsible for BASA negotiations to airlines. It is a policy issue and this is led by the ministry.

“NCAA makes its own contributions, but the final decision is from the ministry. So, anyone that blames NCAA for that, lacks understanding of how BASA negotiations work for Nigeria.

“Hence, every country has its own peculiarity on how they do BASA. In Nigeria, it is the ministry.”

Nuhu, however, said the deregulation of airfares was not so unfettered that the airlines could do as they pleased.

He said that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission dealt with consumer protection while NCAA handled air transport regulation, which still handled airfares.

“All airlines at the beginning of each year are supposed to file their airfares to NCAA and most of the airlines do that.

“However, during the year, if the airfares are going to be higher than the ones filed before the NCAA, the airline is supposed to notify NCAA.

“Then, we will do our reasonableness check and if we are good with it, we tell them to go ahead if not, we will tell them no.

“It is not an unfettered deregulation that they can do as they like, there are guidelines to that in our regulations,” he explained.

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