NIGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is said to have concluded the certification of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and is set to hand over to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Certificate as a confirmation that the airport has met the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard.
Nigerianflightdeck.com exclusively learnt from a well placed source in the regulatory authority that pending when the Director General, Captain Usman Mukhar returns from an official assignment that he would be handing the certificate over to FAAN.
Our source however said that the Abuja Airport would was still undergoing certification as the high cost of funding both the MMIA and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport would not be logically sound and so the Abuja Airport certification which has reached a stage was put on hold to finish Lagos.
The Certification process is carried out on the international airports alone to make sure they meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and according to the source, the NCAA will certify the MMIA as it has met standards and will also continue to follow-up to ensure that the standards are sustained.
“Getting the certification is a big deal, but sustaining the standard is what matters and that is what FAAN will have to contend with because in truth, the NCAA will not certify an airport that is not up to standard seeing that whatever we do is subject to ICAO ratification so it’s not going to happen that we will certify an airport that is sub-standard.”
According to the source, the certification process is a five-phase process that would stretch the ingenuity, readiness and resources of the audited, which in this case is FAAN.
He stated,” The first phase is that we wrote them that we wanted to carry out the certification process and they too expressed desire that they want it done. Then after that we go to the next phase which is looking at their facilities and their manuals, there are some manuals that need to be ready that is where the action is and there are manuals for various aspects of their operations. ”
“It has to be there for us to access so we can refer to it. Then there is also training, these are aspects, if they have not done it they need to do it and there would be evidence with the personnel that they use like the aviation security personnel who must have a level of training.”
“Then we did inspection of facilities, our inspectors went to physically inspect what is on ground and that is the critical aspect before they move to the third phase which is where our own officers look at the manual they submitted. In fact I attended some of the meetings where they scrutinized both soft copies and hard copies of those manuals and our people went through each slide one by one no matter how many they are; they went through all and did the corrections, agreed with them (FAAN) and sent it back to them for correction and implementation ”
“We got to the issuance of certificate which is the last phase but the issuance of the certificate does not mean the end as there are things they have to do regularly so when ICAO comes around, they will check and not be found wanting. Training must now be regular, those manuals they submitted will need to be updated as those are the added responsibilities that will come with the certification. Certificate will be handed once the DG is around.”
Recall that in an interview with the DG NCAA in July, he had said that MMIA was in the fourth stage and only signing of the certificate remained while insisting that the CAA will not certify any airport that is below standard , further stating that it would mount surveillance to ensure that the standard is maintained.
“At this stage, all the document you put forward, the way you operate, we want to see. And what you say you have in place are there and finally we sign the certificate. As I said, signing of certificate is just the beginning. You have certificate and it comes with privilege and you can only access the privilege if you continue to maintain the standards, ” he said