The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says the target deadline of December 2018 for the take-off of Nigeria’s proposed national carrier is still feasible as the acquisition of the Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC) could take a minimum of 90 days if all the prerequisites are met by the Federal Government and promoters of the airline.
The reaction follows the announcement by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, fixing December 24, 2018 for the inaugural flight of the national carrier. Consequently, the announcement came under a heavy criticism by stakeholders in the industry, notably the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) and the Aviation Round Table (ART), following a report by Daily Sun that the government was yet to apply for a licence (AOC) for the airline from the NCAA. The airline is also yet to get it registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Director General/CEO of the NCAA, Captain Usman Mukhar, in a chat with journalists, however, said there was no cause for fear as the regulatory agency was providing the required guidance for the government to enable it meet its December target deadline.
“Once an operator is properly guided and is willing to go by the guidelines and process of getting an Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC), it takes three months (90 days) approximately,” Usman said.
“Whenever we have delays in the issuance of an AOC it is often the fault of the operator and not of the NCAA. If from the operator’s end everything is fine, within 90 days ,we will be able to give them the certificate to operate. We don’t control other things. So, as far as we are concerned from our own side it is quite feasible for the national carrier to get AOC in 90 days”, Usman added.