…Say President’s directive freightening passangers
Local airline operators in Nigeria have faulted the recent call by the Nigerian government for a comprehensive safety audit of Dana Air operations saying this has created fear among air travelers with the attendant reduction in passenger patronage and revenue for the local airline industry.
Recall that President Mohammadu Buhari had recently ordered a comprehensive audit of Dana Airlines operations following two near mishaps involving it.
But airline owners said that the directive for the audit of Dana Air by both the Executive and Legislative arms of government was a depiction of grave ignorance on their part as it amounted to a breach of international civil aviation regulations, undermines the independence and autonomy of the Nigerian Civil aviation Authority (NCAA) within the comity of nations, and painted the local industry in bad light.
Managing Director/CEO of Afrijet Airlines and Deputy Secretary General of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Mohammed Tukur, who addressed the media in Lagos at the weekend, said the Nigerian government prior to making the pronouncements had failed to take the input of professionals, as the audit announcement ought to have been referred to NCAA.
Tukur, said rather than single one airline out for audit, the NCAA should independently audit all local airlines operating in the country with the view to ensuring that their operations were safe for passengers. “Airline business all over the world and its regulations are the same and never have we heard of legislators anywhere calling for the audit of an airline even in the event of the worst crash like the Malaysian air disaster that happened four years ago,”said Tukur. He said the NCAA should rise to the challenge that comes with its Cat-One and ICAO certification and deploy sufficient financial and human expertise to audit all aircraft available for commercial use to ascertain that they are air worthy and that safety standards are not compromised. “The fact that Nigeria scaled through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and United States of America Federal Aviation Agency Category One Status (FAA Cat-One) safety and security audits, implies that our regulatory systems are working perfectly in line with international best practices.