By Lawani Mikairu
Lagos—First Nation Airways Monday said the indefinite suspension of its operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, was not safety related as the airline operating aircraft and crew held the relevant, safety critical approvals and authorisations.
Reacting to the suspension, an official of First Nation, Mr Rasheed Yusuff said the airline’s operations “achieved above industry dispatch reliability of over 95%.
“We are reluctant to join issues, in the media with NCAA, as we believe that Regulation through media sensationalism will ultimately not serve the industry well.
”Except to reiterate that we respect regulations and have immediately complied with NCAA’s directive. It is also a matter of fact, that we presented two airworthy aircraft, to the Authority as far back as September 2017. It is therefore apparent that the context of our operation vis a vis compliance with the extant regulations and Government’s policy have been misconstrued.
“Be that as it may, we will seek reconsideration and review of the suspension, in the light of facts that will be made available to the Authorities. And will cooperate with NCAA in good faith, to address all concerns and the alleged infractions to reach resolution. It is pertinent to add that the allegations are not safety related and that our operation achieved above industry dispatch reliability of over 95% and reputed for on time performance and schedule integrity. The operating aircraft and crew hold the relevant, safety critical approvals and authorisations.”
“The basis of NCAA’s decision is therefore apparently commercial. And in an Industry facing worsening Aircraft capacity constraints, the Authority should be forward looking and working with industry to facilitate policies that will endear industry growth, so as not to further limit and compromise passengers’ choice options across all segments.”
The national interest has not been served by this development.”
“We remain committed to the highest level of safety standard in line with industry best practise. Firstnation is currently working assiduously on fleet expansion and confident that we will grow our fleet this year, 2018,” he added
Recall that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, weekend suspended the Air Operators Certificate ,AOC, of First Nation Airways indefinitely for carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.