Without Minimum of 5 Aircraft, Airlines May No Longer Operate in Nigeria

As part of efforts to address the problem of low capacity and improve airlines’ operational standards, the federal government may enforce a new policy that would stipulate that any airline operating in the country should have a minimum of five aircraft.

It would also make it mandatory that within five years of operation, every Nigerian airline must have IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which the new airline must sign and must abide by before it could obtain Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

According to a source from  the Ministry of Aviation,economic think-tank team working for the present administration is looking at ways to solve the problem of short life span of Nigerian airlines, their inability to make adequate profit and the unwillingness of foreign airlines to code-share with Nigerian operators.

The source said one of the major factors that lead to collapse of Nigerian carriers is because they are allowed to start very small with a minimum of two aircraft, which affects the airline whenever it takes one of the aircraft for maintenance.

However, an aviation industry analyst and former Head of Communication of Virgin Nigeria, Francis Ayigbe said it would take a long process to enforce such rule because it means that the National Assembly would have to amend the existing laws in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) to incorporate the new conditions. He add that although NCAA may make IOSA certification compulsory but it plays no roles in enhancing the airlines obtain IOSA registration.

“Government will have to enable this through legislation, so it is the National Assembly that will make it possible. NCAA some time ago said obtaining IOSA certification is compulsorily voluntary, which means that while it must be obtained there was no time ceiling for it, but the new law would make it compulsory with deadline,” he said.

Ayigbe posited that for NCAA to enforce the new rule when it is made law, it must put in place technical framework that would enable the airlines to obtain IOSA, which has a long list about 99 items to meet that include ground handling, cargo handling, flight operations, safety regulation, commercial operation and others.

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By 9jatravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Jul 25, 2015

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