Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative has called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority to review the Air Operators’ Certificates renewal processes to encourage more investors.

This was part of the submissions of a 39-point communiqué issued at the end of the group’s second quarter 2023 Brunch Business Meeting with the theme ‘Aviation Reset: Agenda For The New Administration’.

AOCs are lifetime documents and are only revoked during extreme safety violations.

The communiqué also stated that the autonomy of the NCAA was non-negotiable and should be guarded.

The communiqué, which was signed by Aviation Round Table Secretary General, Olumide Ohunayo, read in part: “The autonomy of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should be restored and jealously guarded as provided in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act, 2022, Part 2, Section 4(3), which states that ‘The Authority shall be independent in the discharge of its duties and functions…and for that purpose shall not, except as provided under this Act, take directives from any person or authority.’”

The group also urged NCAA to rapidly enhance its regulatory obligations by digitalising and automating end–to–end its safety and economic regulatory processes in line with global trends and best practices.

“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority should ensure that the entire aviation ecosystem is cyber safe and cyber secure to forestall potential cyber-attacks which are a global scourge to every industry and most critical to industries like aviation,” further stated.

The Chairman of King Airlines, Senator Musa Adede, who spoke at the meeting, said one major problem he found in the industry was that the NCAA had given up its autonomy to the Ministry of Aviation despite what the 2000 Civil Aviation Act contained.

He said, “I was in the Senate and we passed the 2000 Act establishing the NCAA. We gave autonomous powers to the NCAA but they have delegated that power and given it back to the ministry.

“You do not need to apply to the minister to apply to bring in an aircraft, no! NCAA has dumped that power and that act is here. You can go and take a look at it. It has not been changed. So, NCAA has to help the Nigerian aviation industry.”

Adede also drew the attention of stakeholders to the manual processes the regulatory agency carried out in its end-to-end operational processes.

He said, “I say this without any apologies, NCAA (members of) staff are not computer literate and not IT compliant. So, they ask you to give them volumes of manuals they will never read. And you can imagine 30 airlines coming here with manuals. How would they read it? Everybody has gone digital. So, I will plead with the aviation industry, especially the regulators to help us.”

Other speakers at the meeting included the Chairman of Air Peace Limited, Allen Onyema; former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nnamdi Udoh; former Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Kayode Ajiboye; former Director of Airworthiness Standards, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Luqman Balogun; Executive Director, Homan Engineering and President, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative and Dr Gabriel Olowo.

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