Nigeria Air’s AOC: NCAA awaits security clearance

The Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu has said that the aviation regulatory body is awaiting security clearance from the security agencies for the continuation of the process of Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the planned national carrier-Air Nigeria.

A security clearance is one of the multiple hurdles the carrier would scale before it is granted all the important flight certificates and one that would recognize it as an airline.

Nuhu while speaking in his office admitted that the promoters of the airline had applied for AOC which he said is ongoing.

“All I can tell you is that the promoters of that airline have applied and their AOC which is ongoing. I don’t have any assurances of when the licenses would be. You see, when you apply for AOC or any certification, some issues that are not completely under the purview of the NCAA like seeking security clearance for the applicant, security agents do that. I don’t have control over security agencies to give such clearances. They have applied and it is ongoing, we are waiting for a security clearance”, said Nuhu.

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DG NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu

Responding to questions about the propriety of giving extensions to AOC holders and in particular airlines that already have expired licenses,  Nuhu explained that to renew AOC, there are certain conditions and processes that must be completed., stressing that for whatever reason, either from the operator or the NCAA, “We cannot complete those processes before the expiration of the AOC, we will extend it for them”.

He reiterated that extension is necessary in order for the system to continue to ensure that all regulatory requirements are complied with for the renewal.

His words, “Sometimes for some reasons, some operators are not able to meet certain requirements on time or maybe on our own part, we cannot complete the process, then, we say instead of disrupting the system, we give them an extension for that period so that they can continue their operations”.

“Before the extension completes, their renewal is given. People just talk without seeking clarifications. So, we look at the situation; give them an extension while we continue to work to complete the renewal process. Renewal is not automatic. It is a process with steps, which must be completed”, he added.

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The NCAA boss further disclosed that the maximum extension period is 90 days but a minimum of 30 days, noting that so that the system will keep functioning.

“You can imagine if we are unable to complete the process either on the part of the airline or NCAA, we now ground one or two airlines, can you imagine the chaos that we will have in the industry?

“So, people need to understand, rather than the blanket condemnation without clarifications on what the actual issue is and why we are doing what we do. It is the same people that will turn around and insult us if we don’t renew the AOC of a particular airline. Whatever you do, head or tail, you lose”.

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“I want to appeal to some of the industry analysts or stakeholders to come to us before making any public comments. When they hear stories or something, they can come to us and seek clarifications, rather than go out there and make wild comments, which aggravate the system. I read a lot on different platforms daily and sometimes, it is annoying when some certain people who are respected members of the industry and are supposed to be the conduit for the industry, make force comments for whatever reasons without seeking NCAA clarifications”.

“We are open and ready to answer questions from the public. I expect people to seek clarifications. When you don’t seek clarifications and you go and make statements that are contrary, you are only making more problems for the industry”, he added.

Wole Shadare

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