Federal Govt begins clampdown on private jet owners

The federal government is set to clampdown on all owners of foreign registered, privately operated aircraft in the country who have failed to regularise their documentation in conformity with their operational status.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs of the Authority, Fana Ndubuoke, said the airlines which did not regularise their operations would face severe sanctions from the regulatory authority.
NCAA’s Director-General, Captain Muhtar Usman, said the authority would immediately commence the regime of stipulated sanctions on the erring operators.

According to him, the sanctions would include grounding of operations, revocation of licence and outright seizure of aircraft forthwith.
“The use of these operators’ aircraft for commercial operations is at variance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation, (Nig.CARs and (b)) which is tantamount to gross violation,” NCAA said.
Usman therefore warned that all private operators who have been issued with NCAA’s Flight Operations Clearance Certificate (FOCC) and Maintenance Clearance Certificate (MCC) in line with Nig.CARs, “are by these certification authorised to operate within Nigeria strictly for private operation only and not for hire and reward.”

NCAA also said it was on the strength of the regulation that Captain Usman has declared his preparedness to revoke the operating licence of any identified defaulting private operator.

A committee was earlier set up by the Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, to take a holistic appraisal of their operations and the committee had since submitted its report.
“As part of the recommendations of the committee, is the revocation of a defaulting operator’s licence and having his aircraft impounded immediately. Thereafter, a mandatory payment of $100,000 (about N20 million) fine will be required to secure the release of the aircraft.

“The Director-General has therefore with this directive, provided a window of opportunity for all foreign registered privately operated aircraft owners to regularise their documentation. This will enable them operate a legitimate commercial operation in line with the authority’s regulation if they so desire,” NCAA said.
Credit: Chinedu Eze/ThisDay