- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed the reason Nigeria Air can't fly
- The NCAA said Nigeria Air had completed the necessary certification processes to enable it to fly
- It listed stages for obtaining the Air Operators Certification and said Nigeria Air has not moved past the first phase
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has rejected an application by Nigeria Air to proceed to the second phase of obtaining its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
TheCable reports that according to the letter dated June 2, 2023, the aviation regulator said due to the unavailability of a proper application form and other required documents, the approval process cannot move to the second phase.
NCAA reacts to reasons Nigeria Air can't fly
The letter reads:
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"The authority is in receipt of your letter dated May 25, 2023, on the above subject matter," NCAA said.
"Quite contrary to our earlier letter of May 16 2023, which enumerated the documents to be submitted with the formal application form OPS 002, your letter of request to proceed to phase two has no inclusion of a formal application form and the necessary documents referenced in the formal application form.
"Hence, the certification process cannot progress to phase two without these required documents.
"Please be reminded that your post holders' letters of commitment to Nigeria Air have a tenure of three months and, as such, expire now."
In 2022, the Nigerian government granted an air transport license to Nigeria Air to begin operations has yet to complete the process for issuing the AOC needed for airlines to operate.
Stages of NCAA certification
The documents guarantee airlines the right to fly and begin their services in Nigeria.
NCAA says five other stages are needed to acquire the AOC, and Nigeria Air is only stuck at the first phase.
In the first phase, NCAA appoints a certification team and processes the pre-application statement of intent form (AC-OPS 001), after which talks about all regulatory requirements, the formal application and attachments, and other necessary issues will occur.
Reports say the process usually takes a week to complete.
In the second phase, a formal application for prospective entrants where essential staff documents, manuals, and resumes are submitted for evaluation. The timeframe for this is about two weeks.
The third stage requires an evaluation document where the NCAA reviews the applicant's manuals and other relevant documents and attachments to ensure compliance with the appropriate regulations and safe operating practices.
The timeframe for this phase is about three months.
After the third phase, the NCAA begins the demonstration and inspection, a critical stage in the process done only after a good documentation evaluation step.
At this phase, a comprehensive audit by the certification team would be conducted at the applicant's premises to ensure that the proposed procedures are effective and that facilities and equipment meet the regulator's requirements.
The final phase is certification, meaning immediately after the Airline meets the regulatory requirements of the NCAA, it is issued with the relevant AOC with the proper specifications and ratings.
The least timeframe for the certification phase is one week. After issuing the AOC, the applicant can engage in commercial aviation practices in Nigeria.
Calls for Sirika's probe intensify as Nigeria Air makes landing
There was a rage last week when an aircraft painted in the Nigeria Air colours landed in Nigeria.
Analysts say the Airline belongs to the Ethiopian Airline and only repainted in Nigerian colours to mislead Nigerians into believing that Nigerian Air has begun operations there.
The immediate past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had said that Nigerian Air would fly before the expiration of the government of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, according to reports, a tracker showed that the aircraft purportedly belonging to Nigeria Air returned to Ethiopian Airlines and had since begun flying the Airline's fleet.
The development led to calls for the probe of the ex-minister.
Ethiopian Airlines removes Nigeria Air painting from aircraft, resumes carrying passengers, live tracker shows
Legit.ng reported that Ethiopian Airlines had removed the Nigeria Air painting from the aircraft that was initially unveiled as part of Nigeria Air's fleet.
According to a live tracker, Ethiopian Airlines uses the same aircraft for regular operations.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 which has registration Number ET-APL, Mode S Q4005C, and serial number: 40965/4075, was repainted and rebranded to represent Nigeria Air at the request of Nigeria's Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.