Aviation

Our suspension is commercial related, not safety-First Nation tells NCAA

BY AMOBI JEWEL—–The management of First Nation Airways on Monday accused Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of giving priority to commercial, rather than safety it was set up to ensure in the system.

The airline disclosed this in a statement made available to BusinessToday through its Spokesman Mr. Rasheed Yusuff, that its suspension and subsequent withdrawal of its Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) by the regulatory agency was commercial related, stressing that it had not violated any safety regulations with its operations.

The statement added that it was necessary for it to make clarification on the action taken against it by NCAA.

He further alleged that NCAA was carrying out regulation through media sensationalism, stressing that such approach would not ultimately serve the industry well.

Yusuf explained that the airline had presented two airworthy aircraft to NCAA as far back as September 2017, stressing that the context of the airline’s operation vis-a-vis compliance with the extant regulations and government’s policy had been misconstrued by the agency.

First Nation emphasised that, rather for NCAA to continue to kill the airlines in the sector, it should be forward looking by work with the operators to facilitate policies that would endear industry growth, stressing that the sector was facing worsening aircraft capacity constraints.

Yusuff, insisted that the action of the regulator would further limit and compromise passengers’ choice, stressing that national interest was not served by this development.

The statement added: “Be that as it may, we will seek reconsideration and review of the suspension, in the light of facts that will be made available to the authorities. And will cooperate with NCAA in good faith, to address all concerns and the alleged infractions to reach resolution.

“It is pertinent to add that the allegations are not safety related and that our operation achieved above industry dispatch reliability of over 95 per cent and reputed for on time performance and schedule integrity. The operating aircraft and crew hold the relevant, safety critical approvals and authorisations.

“We remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with industry best practise. Firstnation is currently working assiduously on fleet expansion and confident that we will grow our fleet this year, 2018.”

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