NIGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has zeroed-in on some of the problems leading to incessant flight cancellations/delays within the country and has cautioned both airlines and service providers charging them to live up to their responsibilities or face the law.This was contained in a 16-point resolution reached at the just concluded stakeholder’s forum organised by the Authority at the NCAA annex, Ikeja Lagos aimed at stemming the unfortunate tide that has caused untold hardships to passengers.
The regulator which waded into the matter over the spate of cancellations/delays at a forum organized to curb the trend asked airlines to be realistic in their flight planning/schedules and to always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status while airport owners should ensure the functionality of their facilities.
The forum also gave the airlines leeway to always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19.
This declaration was made at the just concluded stakeholder’s forum organised by the Authority at the NCAA annex, Ikeja Lagos where the regulator addressed 13 International airlines, 8 domestic airlines, and Airport operators – the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services.
Airline operators during the forum, enumerated the challenges that caused majority of delays and cancellations among which are epileptic fuel supply, need for improvement in infrastructure at the airports, unruly passengers and traffic along airport road etc.
Reacting, management of the NCAA and FAAN assured the operators that all these challenges will be tackled very soon.
The 16-point resolution reached at the meeting are:
a. Airlines should be realistic in their flight planning/schedules
b. Airlines should always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status
c. Airlines to ensure they provide right to care to passengers in times of delays/cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19
d. NCAA/FAAN to liaise with FMTA to replace fuel hydrants if the old ones will cost a lot of money to be fixed and the supply points should be connected to the airports
e. FAAN/airport operators/owners to ensure facilities at the airports are functional (lightings, carousels, cooling systems etc)
f. FMTA to liaise with PPMC on fixing the underground pipeline layout from Apapa to Lagos airport to minimize surface transportation of fuel
g. FAAN should beef up security at the airports to prevent unlawful interference
h. Airlines’ representatives should be available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force
i. The representative of FAAN Management to ensure that action is expedited on the upgrade of lighting on Runway 18L/36R (MMIA).
j. Airlines and airport operators should maintain constant Communication
k. Airlines should always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19.
l. FAAN to ensure that the CCTV cameras are always operational
m. Airlines’ inputs should be considered in the design/construction of airports to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past.
n. Airlines should develop responsive crisis management systems and file their Operation Disruption Manuals with NCAA as required by law.
o. Domestic airlines/operators encouraged to enter into interlining arrangements.
p. Requests from stakeholders/airlines for the provision of 24 hours operations at daylight airports should be forwarded to FAAN backed with economic realities on a sustainable level.
Against this backdrop, all airlines are therefore warned to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings with passengers. Passengers must get value for their money
While the NCAA and FAAN are doing everything to resolve all the issues enumerated, flight delays and cancellations will not be acceptable, according to the statement signed by the General Manager Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye.