The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has vowed to penalise any travel agency operating in Nigeria that is yet to register with it, describing non registration as clear violation of extant Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.
The agency however gave all International Air Transport Association (IATA) accredited agents sixty days within which to register and obtain NCAA’s certificate of registration. The ultimatum according to NCAA commenced from May 7, 2019.
On the strength of this, IATA has been directed not to accredit forthwith any agency without NCAA’s certificate of registration.
Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye in a statement stated that the controversy in certain quarters of absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies is misguided.
He stated that for the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) confers power on NCAA to register and issue certificates to travel agencies without which no travel agency shall operate in Nigeria.
According to him, Part 18.9.1 (iii) of (Nig.CARs) unequivocally and incontrovertibly states that no person shall undertake the business of travel agency in Nigeria without obtaining a Certificate or License issued by the NCAA.
“As a corollary to this, Part 220.127.116.11 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) 2015 states that all travel agencies shall register with the Authority after fulfilling the necessary requirements specified in IS18.104.22.168 (iii) to these regulations”.
He further noted that the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, Part IX, Section 30 (4) (a) inter-alia empowers the authority to regulate, supervise and monitor the activities of travel and other aviation agents operating in Nigeria.
To join the IATA BSP, he stated that Part 22.214.171.124. of the NCARs states that All registered travel agencies shall join and trade on IATA BSP platform.
Adurogboye reiterated that the fulfilment of the aforementioned regulation Part 126.96.36.199 is a mandatory requirement for IATA to accept a travel agency on its BSP platform, stressing that, “It is after rgistration that a travel agent can commence business on the IATA BSP platform.
He hinted that the aviation regulatory bodybody was taking concerted steps to instil sanity and orderliness into the operations of travel agencies in Nigeria.
He assured that the NCAA would be collaborating with IATA to provide a robust regulatory oversight on this sector of aviation downstream operations.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to carry out its regulatory oversight in all facets of air transport operations with all the seriousness that is required”.