The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) has asked the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari to call the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to order as it has no authority to give directives to clients in contract with Bristow helicopters to terminate it over the airline’s perceived safety.
NAPIMS last week wrote to clients of Bristow Helicopters, requesting that the airline’s clients terminate Bristow’s services over the ditching of her Sikorsky type machine.
In a statement issued by the National president of the union, comrade Okewu Benjamin, the association questioned the authority and grounds of which NAPIMS gave that directive and is worried about the patriotic and technical grounds which necessitated NAPIMS to try to wind down the operations of Bristow Helicopters with this directive.
Okewu argued that the technical audit carried out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is a standard procedure used all over the world when an airline or operator is involved in two or more air accidents within a spate of time.
“NAPIMS is only but a corporate service unit of the exploration and production Directorate on the NNPC and have not power to act instead of the regulator, NCAA”
Okewu insisted that the only organization recognized by international civil aviation organization (ICAO) to ground any airline operations and declare it unsafe to fly is the NCAA.
ATSSSAN advised NAPIMS not to use the unfortunate situation of the ditching to play the politics of diverting Bristow clients/contracts to other parties, because doing so is inimical to the existence of the company.
ATSSSAN further advised,” The issue of air worthiness or safety as the case may be of any airline or operator is the prerogative of the Civil Aviation body to decide. Let nobody outside the NCAA make any suggestion(s) leading to panic pronouncement that is unhealthy to the operator and their investments in the Nigerian Aviation sub-sector.”
“Mr. President Sir, we humbly urge you to use your relevant agencies to call the management of NAPIMS to order and get them to reverse itself, before they deprive us of our hard earned FAA Category 1 status. They have no knowledge, technicality and authority in the matter which they are issuing directives and the report and decision of the NCAA audit and directives on the matter is out to the contrary and must be respected by all including NAPIMS.”
We must await the final report and decision of the NCAA audit and directives on the matter and these include NAPIMS they concluded”
Already, Bristow Helicopters have condemned NAPIMS de-marketing of the airline and has also said it has engaged the authorities and other government officials to resolve the matter.