Flight Ban: NCAA to conduct comprehensive audit of Med-View Airlines operations

Medview airline 

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that it will carry out an immediate audit of the operations of the distressed carrier, Med-View Airlines. The announcement was made in a statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, NCAA’s General Manager (Public Affairs).

According to the statement, an operations audit has become necessary following last week’s report of European Commission (EC), which listed the airline among 181 carriers banned from the European airspace.

The NCAA said that the outcome of the audit will determine steps to be taken by the regulatory body and its interaction with the EU over the listing of Med-View. In addition, the statement explained that the audit is aimed at arriving at a resolution as well as getting the ban on the airline lifted.

However, the management of the airline continues to insist that the EC ban has no effect on Med-View flights to the United Kingdom, as the aircraft that invited the ban, a Boeing 767, has been undergoing maintenance check in Europe and has not been in operation in the last five months.

In its place, the airline said that it has since deployed a B747 aircraft with European registration mark to the route. European registration mark, explained the airline, exempts the aircraft from a ban.

On Sunday, the B747 aircraft flew to Gatwick Airport in London, while the banned B767 aircraft, with the registration mark 5N-BQN, returned to the country after undergo C-Check at Airvtaf in Europe.

The NCAA also disclosed that it will, this week, meet European Union Air Safety Committee (ASC) of the EC over the ban of the airline from European airspace. It further disclosed that it will high level talks with the EC to resolve all issues and ensure that the ban is lifted.

The regulatory agency added that the proposed meeting is part of a series of engagements with the EC, following a failed application by Med-View Airline for a Third Country Operator Authorisation to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The NCAA noted that Med-View’s application failed during the verification of documents it submitted, as they were found not to comply with Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005. The regulator also explained that it received the notification of non-compliance through the office of the Nigerian Mission to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Upon receipt of the notification, the NCAA Director-General, Captain Muhtar Usman, met with top officials of European Commission in Gaborone, Botswana, during the Regional Safety Oversight Organisation Conference in February.

The NCAA disclosed that extensive discussions were held aimed at resolving the matter were held at the meeting, while it also engaged the management of Med-View in an attempt to smoothen the issues arising from the failed application to EASA. But the outcome was not the one envisaged.

“However, the EU Air Safety Committee invited NCAA and Med-View for a tripartite meeting in Brussels on the 25th –26th April 2017. After the deliberations, the European Commission, with the full support of the EU Air Safety Committee unanimously decided to ban Med-View Airlines. This ban is in accordance with the common criteria set out in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005.Therefore, the union’s list of air carriers, which are subject to an operating ban within the union, should be amended to include Med-View Airline in Annex A to Regulation (EC) No 474/2006. The ban will take effect a day after it is published in an official journal,” NCAA said in its statement.

But the EC, said the NCAA, has expressed readiness to consider the re-inclusion of Med-View Airlines on the EU Air Safety List immediately all issues related to non-compliance are resolved with the EASA.