.. Says 16,880 domestic flights, 2,443 int’l flights were delayed between Jan. to June
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has commenced the process of streamlining aviation charges in the sub-region.
Speaking at the 2nd NCAA Interactive Forum With Aviation Agencies and Airlines Public Relations and Information Managers held on Wednesday, September 26 at the agency’s headquarters Annex at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the director general of NCAA, Capt, Usman Muhtar stated that aviation charges in Nigeria are quite moderate compared to other countries.
He explained that there are some existing charges in other countries that are not applicable in Nigeria.
Usman noted that this is done not to overburden airlines, hence the lesser charges in the country.
He disclosed that a total of 16,880 scheduled domestic flights were delayed between January to June, 2018 while 2,443 international flights were delayed between the same periods.
He disclosed further that the industry recorded a total of 17,893 delayed /missing baggage on the international route.
He gave the number of scheduled domestic flights cancelled as 253, international flights cancelled stood at 95 while 25 delayed/missing baggage was recorded on the domestic route.
The director general of NCAA said that as part of the economic regulation and to know the financial health of airlines, NCAA has directed that airlines must render their monthly financial obligations in line with the provision of aviation regulations and must also submit financial health returns.
He advised airline operators to adhere to civil aviation regulations as the NCAA has zero tolerance for violations.
On the licences issued within the period under review, NCAA said that it issued two Air Transport Licence (ATL) and that four ATL were renewed
The NCAA boss said that 20 aircraft were registered for commercial air transport, 10 for general aviation operations, 10 aircraft de-registered, 12 aircraft re-registered,30 certificates of airworthiness were issued and 85 certificates of airworthiness were renewed.
The NCAA DG said that between January and June 2018, the regulatory body renewed 64 Air Traffic Controllers(ATCs) licences, issued 34 flight dispatchers licences and conducted 1, 537 exams for various categories of professionals.
Usman said that the agency sanctioned five airlines, several flight crews, penalised engineers, including aviation training organisation penalised within the period under review.
The NCAA director general said 15 organisations were certified while 11 others are under processing.
Thirty six pilots, he said were issued licences,750 pilots medical and instrument renewed,23 foreign licences were converted, 242 cabin crew licence issued,206 cabin crew medical renewed and 68 aircraft maintenance engineers issued
Similarly, in a communique issued at the end of the event, the participants at the event stressed the need for a controlling centre for timely and coherent release of data/information by concerned agencies.
It was also agreed that the manner of disseminating information needs to improve, particularly during incidence and near mishaps, while News reportage on air returns and bird strikes must be discouraged.
The participants noted in the communique that: “Flight delays and cancellations in aviation are inevitable as some are conditioned by weather; though concerted efforts are geared towards reducing the spate.
Because aviation is the most regulated industry, negative and sensational reportage ignite incessant audits of the industry.
An integrated communication and information sharing amongst all industry information managers will engender harmonious working relationship.
Proactive incident reporting will prevent panic in the industry.
Effective media coverage of government activities and policies which is to be communicated to the public is paramount. This will be build reputation and confidence in the industry”.
The participants urged the press corps to sustain watchdog role in the industry through constructive criticism and positive reporting of the industry.
It was was also agreed that there is need to train media in the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) which NCAA is already working out, while there must be a communication centre for all aviation agencies once there is an accident manned by information manager where information can be disseminated.
Others include: That an association to be named Information Managers in Aviation (IMA) which Secretariat will be provided by NCAA, that a Protem Committee which will meet soon to midwife its constitution and eventual take-off. That all Public Relations Officers of aviation agencies will be automatic, that Mr. Sanya Onoyopade will be a consultant, that chairman of League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) be an automatic member, that SAHCOL will represent other ground handling companies whereas Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) represents other airport service providers on the committee.