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Azman Air’s Audit: Findings show gloomy safety situation for airline

  • Accountable manager, DOM, DFO, Chief pilot lack understanding of responsibilities
  • Owes N1.5 billion TSC/CSC as at December 2020
AZMAN Air may still have a vast hurdle to surmount if the airline is to resume operations anytime soon following details of findings of the audit on the airline carried out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which suspended the airline’s operations for safety reasons in March

The audit which covered Management, Flight operations, Maintenance and Economic audit of the airline used criteria from Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations NCARs Part 9, NCARS Part 1, 2, 5, 6, 8,9 & 20 and Nigeria Civil Aviation Act 2006 NCARS Part 18.

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.

From the 19 paged audit findings which was signed by the Director General Captain Nuhu Musa on the 2nd of April 2021, It was discovered that in the case of Management personnel required for Commercial Air transport Operations, Azman Air was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.2 (a) and (e) (2) with regards to provision of resources and discharge of the duties of the Accountable Manager. READ ALSO: Azman Air: Safety must not be sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity

According to the audit report, This- _is evidenced by complete non­ staffing of the Safety Management Department and staffing of the Quality Management Department with only one officer, thereby making it impossible to effectively implement Safety and Quality Management Systems functions as required by Nig.CARs 9.2.2.3 and 9.2.2.10, respectively.

The Accountable Manager exhibited a lack of understanding of his duties and responsibilities as contained in the Operations Manuals. This is further evidenced by lack of evidence of the Accountable Manager’s involvement in Management Reviews of Quality Audit Findings.

Azman was found also not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.2 (e) (2) with regards to discharge of the duties of the Director of Flight Operations thereby unable to maintain safe commercial flight operations:

“This is evidenced by the fact that FDR analysis on the B737 (eg 5N-SYS) revealed a number of exceedance,s and the DFO could not show any evidence of actions taken to check the trend. READ ALSO: Azman Air suffered three incidents in one month, writes protest letter to NCAA

“This is further evidenced by lack of demonstration of knowledge of the Nig. CARs related to Flight Data Analysis and Flight Operations Management in general. Thirdly, this is evidenced by lack of safety officer(s) in the flight operations department to support the Flight Data Analysis Programme (Nig.CARs 9.2.2.11).

According to the audit report, the DFO exhibited a lack of understanding of his duties and responsibilities as contained in the Operations Manuals. Fourthly, there is evidence    of   poor   safety   culture promoted by absence of evidence of concrete action on clear safety violations by flight crew, eg, failure to make required entries in the technical log.

Azman was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.2 (e) (2) and (3)(i) with regards to discharge of the duties of the Chief Pilot, thereby unable to maintain safe commercial flight operations:

“This is evidenced by the fact that the Chief Pilot did not know that some of his pilots were overdue for SMS, CRM training, etc, and were not making technical log entries and signing voyage reports as required by Nig.CARs 8.5.1.19.”

The Chief Pilot exhibited a lack of understanding of his duties and responsibilities as contained in the Operations Manuals.

Azman, according to the manual,  was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.2 (e) (2) with regards to discharge of the duties of the Director of Maintenance to maintain safe commercial flight operations: evidenced by the fact that the Director of Maintenance, who was granted a temporary acceptance by the Authority to act in this capacity for six(6) months ( expiring on 22nd March,2021) demonstrated complete lack of knowledge of Nig.CARs and approved Maintenance Control Manual procedures and therefore Azman Air ceased to have a DOM after 22nd March,2021. READ ALSO: Azman Air lied!! NCAA shuts down airline’s operations for safety reason

The DOM also failed to ensure that approved Maintenance Control Manual Procedures are effectively implemented which led to numerous safety critical non-conformities including lack of access to maintenance data by the engineers in Abuja ; lack of effective tool control (eg use of bogus pressure gauge with incorrect calibration certificate in Abuja)

Also ineffective monitoring  of tire wear; overdue engineers training in Human Factors; outdated B737 Approved    Maintenance   Programme; duty     time    limitation  exceedance; ineffective monitoring of maintenance by the DOM as he is located in Kano instead of the approved maintenance base in Lagos

Azman Air Ltd was found not to be in compliance with the Nig.CARs 9.3.1.2, with respect to provision of current Operations Manual to officers involved in operational control. This is evidenced by Azman’s inability to provide a current copy of the Company’s Emergency Response Plan ( this is a repeat finding ) as required by Nig.CAR 9.3.1.2(g)(7)

Azman was found not to be in compliance with Nig.CAR 9.2.2.11 regarding Flight Safety Programme. This is evidenced by the fact that, though, Azman Air has a robust flight data monitoring system arrangement with Flight Technics, who constantly furnish Azman Air with flight data reports, these reports stop at reception with no further actions to address unsafe issues captured.

The airline was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.10 and 20.3.1.1, relating to Safety Management System establishment

This is evidenced by lack of a Safety Manager or Safety Officers to run the Safety Management System. Lack of this has also resulted in poor management of Flight Data Monitoring Reports for safety improvements

The report also stated that Azman Air Ltd was found to be in violation of Nig.CARs 18.10.3 regarding the submission of monthly financial health reports to the NCAA.

“This is evidenced in Azman Air’s failure to meet up with the monthly obligation in submitting the required financial health report for months despite several reminders. Last submission was in July, 2020. During this audit, Azman submitted reports for December ,2020 and January 2021.

Azman Air Ltd was also found to be in violation of Section 12 (1) of Civil Aviation Act, 2006 as regards to non remittance of 5% TSC/CSC.       This  is  evidenced  by  the airline being indebted to the Authority to the tune of One billion Five Hundred and Forty Five million, Two hundred and Sixty Two thousand One hundred and Twenty naira, Thirty One kobo (N1,545,262,120.31) as at December, 2020.

Sequel to the above, Azman Air Ltd was found to be in violation of Nig.CARs 18.12.6 as regards to signing an agreement with the Authority for direct debit. This is evidenced by delay in signing of the Direct Debit Tripartite Agreement with NCAA.

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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