NCAA declines Nigeria Air’s request to proceed to phase two of AOC acquisition
The controversial national carrier Nigeria Air’s management has been prevented by Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the country’s top aviation regulatory body, from taking any further steps toward securing the airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
An AOC, also known as an Air Operator Permit (AOP), is the authorization given to an aircraft operator by a national aviation authority to use an aircraft for commercial reasons.
The five phases of acquiring an AOC are Pre-application Phase; the Formal Application Phase; Document Evaluation Phase; the Demonstration and Inspection Phase, and Certification Phase.
According to a document, this publication was able to get, the prospective national airline has not yet passed stage one of the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) application process.
To provide the impression that the project is on track, the Nigeria Air promoters shamelessly brought in an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft a few weeks ago.
Currently, the management of the airline had requested to go on to the second phase of the AOC, but they did not provide the necessary paperwork with their formal application.
The NCAA, in a letter dated June 2, 2023, and titled, “Re: Request to Proceed to Phase Two of AOC Certification” with reference number NCAA/DOLTS//GEEN/Vol.III/16123, declined the request.
Capt. O.O Lawani, who endorsed the letter on behalf of the Director General, NCAA, and addressed it to the Managing Director of Nigeria Air, also reminded that “Post Holders’ letters of commitment to Nigeria Air have a tenure of three months and as such expire now.”
“Quite contrary to our earlier letter of 16th May 2023, which enumerated the documents to be submitted with Formal Application Form OPS 002, your letter of request to proceed to phase two has no inclusion of a Formal Application Form, the necessary documents referenced in the Formal Application Form. Hence, the Certification process cannot progress to Phase Two without these required documents,” the letter explained further.
This latest development, supported claims by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) that Nigeria Air had no AOC to flag off flight operations last Friday, just as it applauded Capt. Musa Nuhu, the DG, and his team for not bowing to intimidating external pressure.
Aviation experts have warned about the unnecessary desperate attempts by the previous government to force down the throat of Nigerians, the airline.
To them, Nigeria Air would need a long period to scale the mandatory five phases to acquire the AOC before it could technically operate in the country.