Nigerian government has continued to strengthen the aviation industry and ensuring a clement environment is provided to enable diverse players provide services for the growth of the sector.
To prove this, the government has registered about one hundred foreign private jets as well as about 46 corporate jets.
Providing insight into activities in the industry Capt. Muhktar Usman, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said currently in Nigeria today,” we have 30 certified air operators, over 400 in-service aircraft registered in Nigeria. In addition, there are about 46 corporate jets, 130 helicopters and 100 foreign registered private jets”.
Usman who spoke at the maiden interaction of all public relation /information managers of all the parastatls and agencies in the aviation industry, said given the size of the industry, the NCAA will continue to progressively strengthen its oversight responsibilities to entrench safe and secure air transportation in the country.
“Therefore, if indeed we agree that in aviation – there is mass movement of passengers and cargo within the orbit, ensuring safety is quite paramount and critical.
This forum however, is to take a cursory look at our information dissemination as it relates to handling and reporting safety vis-à-vis incidents and accidents.
It is not entirely a new discussion in various fora, but the approach requires tinkering. There is a need for a unified communication and integration among all the information managers of all the agencies” he said.
According to him, We should put on the table a synergy and a robust working relationship among all of you. When I say all of you, this includes the public relations apparatchik of NCAA.
If we commence integrated information, there will be a concerted approach when there are incidences.
On the reality, an airline operation is not without its own fair share of incidences worldwide.
Speaking further, Usman stated that the basic principles of air navigation are identical to general navigation, which includes the process of planning, recording and controlling the movement of a craft from one place to another.
However, he noted that successful air navigation involves piloting an aircraft from one end to the other without getting lost, breaking the laws applying to aircraft or endangering the safety of those on board or on the ground.
“It therefore suffices that if successful navigation is to safely move the aircraft from place to place, I have a responsibility to enlighten all present about Air Return.
Air Return and taxi return are flight return terms used to describe a situation where a Pilot-In-Command (PIC) has made a determination to return to gate at the departure airport.
Air Return can therefore be occasioned when the Pilot suspects or has ascertained that an aircraft has developed a technical fault.
Not only that, an in-flight situation may have arisen that makes it impossible to progress the flight to the destination airport.
When this happens, the Pilot has acted according to the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in the global aviation. It is not a dire situation but a safety precautionary measure exercised to save the souls on board the aircraft” the D-G explained.
He therefore advise the press to exercise a bit of caution while reporting the occasional air returns when they occur to avoid creating unnecessary panic among air travelers.
Usman also used the opportunity to correct a serious misconception about the 5 percent Ticket Sales Charge.
He explained that the Ticket Sales Charge is content charged in the ticket sold to passengers and that the airlines role is to collect and remit to the regulatory authority.
“Let me again refer to section 12 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act.2006 which says that “there shall continue to be a 5% air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid over to the Authority.”
As you are. all well aware NCAA has issued a press release and will be complementing with paid advertorial in five national newspapers as final warning to consistent defaulters. We are now ready to commence recrimination of the debtor airlines according to the provision of the law” he warned.