- Senate applauds airline’s grounding
- Captain Nuhu says it will be criminal negligence if action isn’t taken
AZMAN Air’s suspension by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) may not be unconnected to a series of incidents that took place in the last month between February 16, 2021 and March 15, 2021 one of which is still under investigation.
The NCAA had written Azman in a letter NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/300 dated 15th March, 2021 signed by the Director General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu to suspend the airline’s operations with immediate effect. Azman Air lied!! NCAA shuts down airline’s operations for safety reason
However, details of the series of incidents were not known as at press time but during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Aviation, Captain Nuhu told the committee that the airline was grounded following noticeable issues bordering on damaged tyres, broken hydraulic pipes and damage to the hydraulic reservoir of its aircraft.
Furthermore, a letter written by Azman Air to the regulatory body in protest of the suspension indicated that the airline had a tyre burst in Lagos on the 16th February 2021 with aircraft 5N-SYS.
It also indicated that just yesterday in Kaduna, another of its aircraft, a Boeing 5N-YSM respectively also had a burst tyre which the airline allegedly flew to Lagos.
The airline on March 8, 2021 also had an incident where an object fell off its Boeing 737 5N-SYS.
The protest letter signed by Azman Air’s Accountable Manager, Alhaji Muhammad Hadi Abdulmunaf titled Re: Suspension of Parts A3 and D43 of the Operations Specifications issued to Azman Air, the airline wrote:
“We write to acknowledge and receive your letter reference: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/300 dated 15th March, 2021 titled: SUSPENSION OF AZMAN OPSPECT.
“Shortly after recur of the letter, we received a zoom conference invitation which was held between 1pm to 2pm on Tuesday (16/03/2021) surprisingly, the reason or grounds for suspension on Azman operations was not contained in the letter under reference, nor discussed at the zoom conference. READ ALSO: Azman Air aircraft breaks down at Runway 18R in Lagos; causes multiple cancellations
“In fact all Azman officials request with reasons or ground was not attended to. Instead , attempt was made by the chief host (Engr. Ajiboye) to link the Azman Aircraft wheel burst in Lagos on (16/02/2021) with 5N-SYS which occurred on (16/02/2021) with recent Kaduna wheel burst of flight 5N-YSM which happened on 15/03/2021.
“Instructively the NCAA and AIB have cleared Azman Air Aircraft to continue its operations. Also the incident that happened with regards to an object falling from Aircraft 5N-SYS has technically been investigated and cleared by the NCAA with a sanction to Azman Air and the staff from Azman Air in Abuja on (8/03/2021).
“But, the Kaduna incident has not been investigated. Therefore, there is no nervous/link between the previous incident in Abuja or Lagos with Kaduna incident. Accordingly, without prejudice, the NCAA use its power to write the suspension of Azman operations not based on fact. READ ALSO: UBA PLC supports businesses on budgeting, forecasting as workshop holds today
“Therefore, the management humbly request that Azman Air suspension should be lifted firstly in line with the established precedent in respect of other airlines which has similar incidents/experiences in the past. This is particularly necessary in the interest of justice, fairness, and fair play.
In a related development, Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adeyemi, Smart Adeyemi has commended the NCAA for seizing the initiative to axe Azman Air.
He said yesterday,”The step you took was right but we were worried because the particular airline belongs to the President of the operators.”
He further restated his appeal to the present administration to continue to give incentive to the operators. “We may have to have an interaction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, ” he said.
Captain Nuhu yesterday while reacting to the Senate noted that the maintenance guidelines in the sector were not being followed by the Airline operator, said that NCAA had in the early hours of March 16, suspended operations of AZMAN airline for failure to comply with aviation safety guidelines and adherence to maintenance practice of its aircraft.
He said, “We invited their people to come and sit with us , we discussed, we thought we had resolved the issue, but there was a fine against the Airline and the Captain. “We did not want to ground them then, and we had to let them go but on February 16 this year, the same aircraft landed in Lagos, the weather was bad and it had a significant tyre failure, and damage to the engine and the face large of the aircraft.
“At that point because of the level of the damage to the aircraft, it now became the responsibility of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB )whose responsibility it is to investigate serious aircraft accident and Incident. “The airline keeps having the same maintenance issues, and is of concern to me that the aircraft keep having issues. It will be irresponsible and criminal negligence on our own part not to take any action.
“I hate grounding any airline, it is a lot of money for the operator, and it is going to cause a lot of inconvenience for a lot of air travelers, but it will be criminal negligence not to take action.
Recall, a statement yesterday signed by Captain Nuhu read,”Following series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 aircraft, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has pursuant to Section 35 (2) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 22.214.171.124 (A) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015, suspended the operations of all the Boeing 737 Aircraft in the Fleet of Azman Air Services Limited, with effect from March 15, 2021.