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NCAA Goes Hard on Charter Operators

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned that it would no longer allow companies that are not authorised to carry out charter operations.

The warning may have been as a result of security and the indiscriminate air charter operations by airlines that are not allowed to carry out such exercises.

Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye explained that holders of Air Transport Licence [ATL] and Airline Operating Permit [AOP] with valid AOC are the only authorized operators to carry out Charter Operations.

This is in line with the NCAA statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the general public and that of the investors in the aviation sector.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations [Nig.CARs] 2015 Part 18.2.3.1. states thus: 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 Authoity.

Adurogboye stated that it therefore follows that any members of the public transacting business with any unauthorized operators will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover.

He stated that the agency would continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations as violations will be viewed seriously.

Illegal charter operations pose a serious safety hazard to the traveling public, and the aviation regulatory works aggressively to identify and shut down rogue operators.

The agency also provides information and resources to help passengers ensure the company they hire is legitimate.

Illegal charters can take a variety of forms including but not limited to: companies that don’t have the required certificates; use aircraft that are not on their authorized aircraft list; use unqualified pilots; offer ride-sharing; try to transfer operational control of the flight to the customer; operate under one rule when they are required to operate under a different rule; and when the customer and the company act in concert to sign a lease that doesn’t include crewmembers, but the company then directs the customer to use a specific flight crew.

The NCAA had taken a number of actions to crack down on illegal charter operations. The agency formed a special-focus team to investigate complex cases; partners with the air charter industry to help identify possible illegal operations; and is standing up a new team to collaborate with industry trade associations to educate pilots and operators to ensure they understand all of the rules that apply to charter operations.

The NCAA had taken enforcement action against scores of pilots, operators and others associated with illegal charter operations.
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