Aviation

May 21, 2024

Air Peace to UKCAA: Allegation of safety violations against us false

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Nigeria’s flag carrier, Air Peace, yesterday described as falsehood claims by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, UKCAA, that it was violating safety regulations in its operations.

Recall that the UKCAA had written the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, raising alarm over safety concerns in the airlines’ operations, after a ramp inspection of one of its aircraft in London.

Michael Achimugu, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had said: “There was a ramp inspection where issues were raised at Level 2 (definitely not Level 1).

“The NCAA has been communicated and we have written to the airline for their comments. Investigations are ongoing.

“Well, it’s a category less serious than Level 1, it does not call for a ban of the airline as being suggested by some of your colleagues.”

The UKCAA had in a report, titled ”Ramp Inspection,” and dated April 7, said findings showed Air Peace was using electronic flight bag, EFB, functions without operational approval.

It said the EFB affects the safe operation of Air Peace’s aircraft, adding that the flight captain admitted that the EFB was being used for navigational purposes.

The UK aviation authority said there was “no mounting device for the use of EFB, no charging points or battery for backup”.

But responding to the allegation last night, Air Peace management said in a statement:  ”Our attention has been drawn to media reports alleging a safety breach by Air Peace in the United Kingdom, which contain a lot of falsehood aimed at creating fears and doubts in the minds of the flying public.

”From the commencement of our inaugural flight to London, our operations have been subjected to intense scrutiny by the relevant authorities, which we most welcome as we pride ourselves in our continued pursuit of operational excellence and unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our esteemed passengers.

”We can confirm that the UK Civil Aviation Authority wrote to Air Peace, after their statutory Ramp Inspection on April 7, 2024, to request clarification on our use of the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and some other concerns. We provided the necessary information, and the matter was resolved without any issues.

”It is, therefore, wrong to say we do not have approval for our EFB. Air Peace received approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and all our Boeing 777 aircraft are certified to operate with EFBs.

”Regarding the claim that our B777 aircraft lack iPad mounts and charging ports in the flight deck, this is incorrect. All B777 aircraft are equipped with charging ports in the cockpit, and we ensure that all our B777 aircraft have iPad mounts.

”Another issue raised by the UK CAA was the location of our cockpit library on the B777. The B777 designates two locations for storing manuals and books: one behind the captain and one under the jumpseat. During the inspection, the books were stored under the jumpseat, as it is commonly practised.

”We understand the inspector’s preference for the books to be placed behind the captain and have ensured this preference is accommodated for all operations going forward. 

”There was also a concern about the captain’s choice of runway exit after landing. Instead of exiting at the middle runway exit, the captain, out of his professional discretion, opted to exit at the end of the runway.

”This may have delayed the arrival of another aircraft. We acknowledge this deviation and have addressed the matter with the captain to ensure adherence to preferred exit procedures in the future.

Ramp Inspection is a normal procedure carried out by aviation authorities globally, and the UK CAA did the right thing by notifying the NCAA of the outcome of their inspection.

”However, we are shocked to see several media publications with exaggerated and sensationalised accounts of these matter that were closed with the authorities over a month ago. It is unprofessional for the media to publish slanted and alarmist reports to create public panic and impugn our deeply ingrained safety culture.”