Nigeria, Through its Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman, says the agency remains optimistic that Nigeria will retain its Category 1 safety rating. Capt Usman stated this on Friday at the conclusion of the United States Federal Aviation Authority’s five-day audit of the NCAA.
Nigeria achieved a Category 1 air safety rating from the United States government under the FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment program in 2010.
The rating means that Nigeria complies with international air safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.
“As with any audit exercise, you cannot expect 100 per cent performance. We expect that within the next 30 days, we will receive a written report from the FAA on their findings. As of now, Nigeria is still in Category 1 and so far so good, we are optimistic about our performance. All hands were on desk and I want to thank all our colleagues and the media for their support towards the success of the exercise,” he said.
The exercise which began on Monday focused on the audit of personnel licensing, international operations and airworthiness, which the agency was fully prepared for. Before the exercise commenced, the DG had disclosed that the NCAA had done a lot in the areas expected to be covered, not only for the audit but as part of the regulatory agency’s statutory responsibilities.
Also, there was also a new civil aviation bill, which was on its way to the National Assembly, adding that the “bill would enhance the current Act of 2006 in line with the new annexes of the ICAO Convention.