No fewer than 26 airlines have discontinued the process for the acquisition of the air operator certificate (AOC) over stringent conditions set by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), it has been revealed.
This is just as the NCAA debunked insinuations in some quarters that some airlines borrowed aircraft to complete their certification process.
Spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, disclosed that there were five phases an airline underwent before completing the certification process and many airlines faltered on the way.
There is the pre-application phase when the airline makes enquiry about the processes, followed by the document compliance phase which involves a certification team reviewing applicant’s documents for compliance acceptance/approval.
The others are AOC process, also called demonstration and inspection phase, which involves evaluation by a certification team and applicant’s demonstration of compliance evaluation of management effectiveness, inspection of station(s) facilities, flight operations, maintenance and records.
The next is called certification phase which allows the intending operator for approval of AOC and operation specification with coordination with director for safety oversight and DG NCAA.
In the case of Omniblu Aviation limited, the airline got its AOC certification in 2015 and as at today, referencing the NCCA document and Omniblu operational specification, Omniblu has five helicopters and three aeroplanes on her AOC – HS123-850XP (5N-SPL); Challenger 604 (N880ET); and Boeing 737 Freighter (5N-IZB).
The operators that have terminated their AOC processes are Jet Support Services, Air First (abandoned since 2015) got to stage two. Air Taraba, Air Jupiter, Continental Aerospace, Jet Leasing Support, Quorum Aviation, Tropical Arctie, Xejet, Revillo were in stage three.
Glory Airlines, Dominion Air Limited, Mounthill Aviation Resources Limited got to phase one until they stalled the processes.
Others in exploratory phase are Air Stream Aviation, Baltic Airlines, Millennium Travels and Tours, New Okada Air, Onedot Aviation, Oriental Airlines, Prime Air Services, Private Airline Services, and Trebet Aviation Aerospace Nig. Limited.
Standing its ground
Adurogboye said NCAA had consistently stood its grounds in maintaining its ‘strict’ policy of granting intending airline operators the all-important AOC.
NCAA also included a minimum of 50 hours demonstration flights for intending operators. An intending operator in the country’s aviation industry is expected to fly empty with full crew members and NCAA inspectors for a minimum of 50 hours.
The last stage is when the intending carrier carries out 50 hours demonstration flights which the NCAA included to ensure that the applicant could carry out scheduled operations with all the safety standards without compromise.
As part of the requirements, an intending operator is expected to have sufficient personnel with the required experience for the type of operations requested, airworthy aircraft, suitable for the type of operations requested, acceptable systems for the training of crew and the operation of the aircraft (Operations Manual).
Managing director of Med-View Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, lauded the NCAA for ensuring compliance with the requirements.