As the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) maintain its stringent conditions and procedure for the acquisition of the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by airlines flying in the Nigerian air space, no fewer than 26 airlines have failed to make it and thus discontinued the process.
NCAA spokesman, Mr. 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. This is 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.
Adurogboye who revealed that about 26 airlines have discontinued the process over the stringent conditions set by NCAA, 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.
The NCAA has further debunked insinuations in some quarters that some airlines borrowed aircraft to complete their certification process.