The Federal Government has announced that it has impounded an aircraft belonging to Fair Aviation, a United Kingdom-based aviation, for operating commercial flights contrary to the approval it got for humanitarian operations.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a tweet post from his official twitter handle on Sunday, May 17, 2020.
The Minister who referred to the action as callous said that the members of the crew are undergoing interrogation and will face the maximum penalty.
According to Sirika, ‘’Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably, we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, the crew being interrogated. There shall be a maximum penalty,’’
COVID-19. Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!??
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) May 17, 2020
The Minister said that it was a very wrong time to try the country’s resolve to enforce the measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the Federal Government has been reported to have commenced investigations into circumstances surrounding such breach of government’s directive, there has not been any official statement from it apart from that of the Hadi Sirika’s twitter handle.
This is coming barely 5 weeks after the Rivers State Government arrested 2 pilots of Caverton Helicopters for flight operations into the state without authorization of the state government, although the Aviation Minister countered that and said they were duly authorized by the Federal Government.
It can be recalled that there is still a subsisting local and international flight ban in the country as part of the measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country. The suspension of flight operations was extended by another 4 weeks on May 6, 2020.