(NCAA) has suspended the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of FirstNation
Airways indefinitely over “unauthorised and illegal operations”. NCAA
Spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said in a statement that the suspension was conveyed
to the airline via a letter with reference No. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/18/2304 and
dated May 11, 2018 and signed by the Agency’s Director General, Capt. Muhtar
airline had acknowledged receipt. Adurogboye said:”The suspension is sequel to
the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance
of it AOC by the airline thereby carrying out unauthorised and illegal
expired, the airline did not have at least two airworthy aircraft capable of
servicing its approved schedule as required by Part 126.96.36.199(b)(2) (ii) of
Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.
“Consequently, the airline’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC)
was, upon renewal, restricted to non-scheduled operation, (Charter) only.”
According to him, the airline however embarked on scheduled operations with
continuous advertisement of its services and sold tickets at its Check-in
counters in Lagos and Abuja Airports. He said that NCAA had earlier notified
the airline that it was investigating these violations.
“Subsequently, by a letter dated August 31, 2017, the airline was directed to
stop the illegal operations forthwith, warning that failure to desist would
lead to a suspension of its operating authorisation.
“On further investigation, it was discovered that the airline had disregarded
all warnings and continued with the unauthorised and illegal operations in
violation of its AOC terms and conditions of issuance.”
contravene the provisions of Part 188.8.131.52(d) of the Nig.CARS 2015. He said the
provisions of the Nig.CARS 2015 provide that “Each AOC holder shall at all
times, continue in compliance with the AOC terms and conditions of issuance and
maintenance requirements to hold that certificate.” Adurogboye said that NCAA
had therefore determined that, pursuant to Section 35(2),(3) (a) (ii) and (4)
of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006, FirstNation Airways was no longer fit to
operate air transport business under the authority of the AOC.
He said:”Accordingly, the airline’s AOC has been suspended
indefinitely, with effect from May 11. when it received the notice. “In
addition, the operators of the airline are expected to return the AOC to the
NCAA’s Director of Operations and Training within seven days of receiving the
Adurogboye, however said that if the airline demonstrates ability and
willingness to comply with the extant regulations, NCAA would review its
operations and restore its AOC to enable it commence operations again.
He reiterated NCAA’s zero tolerance for violations of the Nig.CARS, adding that
it would continue to enforce compliance through application of appropriate
sanctions for any infractions.