INCIDENTS of the past few weeks that has crossed management of Tropical Arctic Logistics (TAL) against the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over delays in Air Operators Certificate (AOC) renewal has led the former to suspend its AOC process despite already reaching the 3rd phase.
This is contained in a press statement obtained by NigerianFLIGHTDECK where the TAL management alleges that it has been frustrated out of business due to no fault of theirs and called the regulatory body to investigate its General Manager, Certification and Surveillance, Godwin Balang.
NigerianFLIGHTDECK also learnt that the suspension of the AOC process, is a strategic move freezing the pursuance before 30 days elapses so that when the airline intends to continue the process it will not be mandated to restart at fresh as it has already gone as far as the third of the five-phased process
Chief operating Officer of TAL, Engineer Olufemi Adeniji who addressed the media narrated some of the airline’s reasons for doing what it was while clarifying what he termed as wrong perception of what had transpired since September 2020 when TAL applied for the AOC renewal.
He said, ”TAL has decided to follow the due process no matter how long it takes without compromising. However, in life there is a limit to everyone’s patience especially when it pertains to corruption which has become a threat to one’s investment. TAL has reached its limit and has decided to suspend its actions in following through with its AOC renewal despite concluding on phase 3 of the so-called renewal process.
“The renewal process in Nigeria does not align with international practice although it is supposed to be same ICAO procedure
He explained that all through the time of its reapplying for renewal of its AOC 7th September 2020, forty-seven (47) days before the expiry it had all its key post holders and even when they resigned after the AOC was not forth coming, the company quickly replaced to ensure it was not found wanting.
According to him despite starting early for the 30-day renewal process, Its manual were misplaced only for it to reprint new ones to hasten the process then the previously submitted manuals re-appeared.
“Manuals were submitted and resubmitted with amendments as it was said that some were lost by the NCAA Airworthiness Department, MCM, AMP, MEL after 7 months of submission. It is on record that attempts were made to heap the blame on Covid-19. New manuals were reprinted and re submitted, and surprisingly the lost manuals were found.
“TAL reviewed these manuals using NCAA Checklist as requested by officials to help avert any delay, even with this having been complied with, the AOC renewal was still delayed by Airworthiness Department of NCAA, Consequently, operations have been grounded due to unusual delay. TAL decided to apply for extension of its AOC in a letter dated 14th December, 2020 to avoid total grounding, this was again denied,” the TAL boss said.
On Balang, the TAL boss said an investigation into Godwin Balang’s relationship with its former maintenance Manger Erduado Ramos who is now with NHV, relationship between Balang and TAL chairman and also why Balang transferred 5N-BOI, 5N-BOJ and 5N-BOX to another operator without honoring the letter from TAL
The Director General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu who has earlier reacted to some of these allegations had said that AOC application in NCAA is not processed by one person and no single individual with the exception of the DG can prevent anyone from getting it.
He also said that other airlines either had their AOC’s renewed or extended but that TAL didn’t meet all the safety requirements needed to get an extension or a renewal, insisting that the agency is not partial in carrying out its responsibilities.
“Tell TAL that if they have any proof of misconduct, the COO should come and sit with me and discuss it instead of making allegations and subtle threats against the Authority. When you make allegations without proof, you are not damaging Godwin Balang, the DG or NCAA, you are damaging the reputation of Nigeria and it makes it difficult for our operators to get aircraft and many other things and the cost of tickets will rise if the regulatory agencies are seen as corrupt or incompetent and the country would be classified as a flight risk area and it makes life much difficult for everyone.
He called on the TAL boss, “Please tell him to bring the evidence he has because I will not take it lightly. He either brings proof of corrupt practices or report to the appropriate authorities. I have had issues with many airlines and they come, we discuss in a professional manner and we find a solution.