THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said that extension of Air Operators Certificate (AOC) usage for airlines is done so airlines are not grounded and disruptions are avoided in the system
The regulatory body explained that the extension are more of stop gap measures to keep the system going and are not more than 30 days.
Director General Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu made this known while speaking to reporters on various burning matters concerning the industry.
According to him, the AOC renewal process must meet certain conditions and sometimes if the regulatory body or operator does not complete those processes before the expiration of the AOC, the CAA will extend for them.
Captain Nuhu explained,”To renew AOC, there are certain conditions and processes that must be completed. If for whatever reason, either from the operator or the NCAA, we cannot complete those processes before the expiration of the AOC, we will extend it for them.
“Extension is for the system to continue to ensure that all regulatory requirements are complied with for the renewal. Sometimes for some reasons, some operators are not able to meet certain requirements on time or may be on our own part, we cannot complete the process, then, we say instead of disrupting the system, we give them extension for that period so that they can continue their operations.
“Before the extension completes, their renewal is given. So, we look at the situations, give them extension while we continue to work to complete the renewal process.
“Renewal is not automatic. It is a process with steps, which must be completed.The most we have given if I am not mistaken is 90 days, but usually, it is hardly more than 30 days. We do this thing so that the system will keep functioning.
“You can imagine if we are unable to complete the process either on the part of the airline or NCAA, we now ground one or two airlines, can you imagine the chaos that we will have in the industry?He asked.
Speaking on multiple entry, Captain Nuhu insisted that the regulator is not responsible for negotiation of Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) hence do not have the authoritative say on who comes in or goes out as that lies in the purview of the Ministry of Aviation.
The NCAA helmsman said that the body makes contributions but called on all to understand the true nature of negotiations.
He said, “Unfortunately, NCAA is not the one responsible for BASA negotiations to airlines. It is a policy issue and this is led by the Ministry.
“NCAA makes its own contributions, but the final decision is by the Ministry. So, anyone that blames NCAA for that is either out of lack of understanding of how BASA negotiations work for Nigeria; and every country has its own peculiarity on how they do BASA. In Nigeria, it is the ministry.
On airfare hikes and the recent dusts raised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) about anti-competition practices, the NCAA helmsman said the deregulation of airfares was not so unfettered that the airlines can do as they please.
He said,”FCCPC has its own functions, which are different from that of NCAA. FCCPC deals with consumer protection and NCAA deals with air transport regulation, which I think still deals with the issue of airfares.
“All airlines are supposed to, at the beginning of each year to file their airfares to NCAA and most of the airlines do that. However, during the year, if the airfares are going to be higher than the ones filed before the NCAA, the airline is supposed to notify NCAA. Then, we will do our reasonableness check and if we are good with it, we tell them to go ahead, but if not, we will tell them no.
“It is not an unfettered deregulation that they can do as they like, there are guidelines to that in our regulations,” he explained