The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is expected to present an Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to the management of Nigeria Air, the national carrier, in few months, if all requirements are met. This is coming as the apex regulator presents the Air Transport Licence (ATL) to Nigeria Air on Monday at the NCAA’s headquarters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Nairametrics had published an article after some Nigerians demanded for the national carrier the Federal Government had promised would emerged in April 2022.
This was disclosed by a source in NCAA on Monday, who preferred anonymity.
AOC is a note of authority issued to airlines that fully guarantees them the right to begin air services. Though, it usually comes shortly after the ATL is granted but a lot of potential airlines have not been award this certificate, as NCAA picked holes in their applications.
What the source is saying about Nigeria Air
She said, “NCAA is expected to make the presentation of the licence to the interim management of Nigeria Air today, Monday, June 6, 2022 without any delay and the AOC, which is the most important will come in few months.
“The process was delayed because NCAA had to ensure protocols and necessary requirements or conditions are met. Sentiments are not required in approving the air worthiness of airlines, as it is one of the most sensitive and delicate sector in the economy. We cannot afford any mistake because we are dealing with lives here.”
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Last week, Nigerians on Twitter attacked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika over what they described as the government’s failure to deliver the much-advertised national carrier, Nigeria Air.
This was confirmed from several tweets shared on Twitter by several Nigerians on Tuesday.
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, had promised that the new carrier would take off in April amidst doubt from stakeholders who are not convinced on the sincerity of the Federal Government in following through the normal processes and procedures in establishing the national carrier.
What you should know about AOC
There are hosts of new airlines that are currently battling to get the Air Operators Certificates (AOC), to enable them start operations in Nigeria. They may not get the license anytime soon, as the Nigerian Covil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is bent on crossing all ‘Ts’ and dotting all ‘Is’.
This was disclosed by the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye in an exclusive interview.
Below are stages to obtain AOC:
Phase 1 – pre-application phase:
The NCAA will appoint a certification team and process the pre-application statement of intent form (AC-OPS 001). Discussions on all regulatory requirements, the formal application and attachments and any other related issues will take place. This is usually a week’s process.
Phase 2 – It involves a formal application for intending entrant where documents and manuals (including the curriculum vitae of key management personnel) must be submitted for evaluation. The minimum timeframe for the formal application phase is two weeks.
Phase 3 – It is a document evaluation phase where the NCAA will review the applicant’s manuals and other related documents and attachments to ensure conformity with the applicable regulations and safe operating practices. The minimum time-frame for the document evaluation phase is three months.
Adurogboye added that the processes seem simple and straight forward enough and these requirements are not there to deter any investor. Contrary to that, they are meant to show capacity for safety for the particular operations to be embarked on.
He stressed that new airlines only come on board once they have fulfilled all the requirements in the stage process stating that the most critical of those stages are stages three and handing over the AOC to the operator.
He said, “If the new airlines are yet to come on board, it means they are yet to fulfill all the requirements because it is a stage process and the critical stage is third stage to the handing over of the AOC. In the critical stage you have to do flight demonstration and that requires you flying to all the routes you want to go, flying it empty.
“If its international routes, you do the same with the whole crew and the NCAA team. You buy fuel and you’re not taking any passengers, you fly them to and fro all those routes that is the stage that is most critical and expensive also. If an airline has not gotten to all those stages, it wouldn’t get AOC.”