The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that it would revoke or suspend the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of any operator found engaging in illegal charter operations.
The regulatory agency also warned members of the public not to patronise illegal operators, stating that in the case of a major incident or accident, the operator may not have insurance that covers all occupants of the aircraft.
The warning is coming months after some helicopter operators in Nigeria accused the Nigeria Police Force of engaging in unapproved charter operations.
Although the Police debunked the claim at the time, sources in the industry insisted that the authority and some private jet operators consistently engaged in commercial operations to the detriment of approved operators.
The General Manager, Public Affairs of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said in a statement on Sunday that the agency would not hesitate to sanction operators engaging in illegal activities henceforth.
NCAA also warned the public to desist from patronising such unapproved operators, stressing that holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with valid AOCs were the only authorised operators to carry out charter operations in the industry.
He said the warning was in line with the NCAA statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the general public and that of investors in the aviation sector.
According to Adurogboye, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 22.214.171.124. states that “no person shall use any aircraft in Nigeria for hire and reward in public transport category to provide non scheduled or charter air service unless such a person holds an ATL or Airline Operating Permit (AOP) issued by the Authority.”
He said for the purpose of verification and authentication, the list of current holders with appropriate authorisation to carry out charter operations was on the NCAA website.
“It therefore follows that any member of the public transacting business with any unauthorized operator will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will continue to ensure strict compliance to safety regulations as violation(s) will be viewed seriously,” he said.
Last November, some helicopter operators raised the alarm over involvement of the Nigeria Police Force in operating charter operations with its choppers.
The helicopter operators alleged that the Police involved in the services illegally without the required permit for such operations.
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