FirstNation exits airline business for charter over insufficient fleet size | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
18 February 2018 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• GENERAL

FirstNation exits airline business for charter over insufficient fleet size

After operating just one aircraft for over nine months, the FirstNation Airways has abandoned its Certificate of Airworthiness as a schedule operation for charter services.

This is as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that it is working with the airline to ensure the payment of the N33.5 million sanctions imposed on it for violating safety procedures in the industry.

Muhtar Usman, the Director-General, NCAA, disclosed thIS to journalists yesterday at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

Usman explained that the airline had downscale its operations from schedule operator to non-schedule, saying that the status would remain so until it improved its aircraft fleet to at least two and would have to meet the requirements for schedule services.

On the total N33.5 million sanctions imposed on the airline some few months ago for safety negligence, Usman noted that the authority would work with the airline to ensure the penalty was paid.

He, however, said that the essence of sanctioning any operator or organisation was not punitive, but to serve as a corrective measure to prevent recurrence.

He said: “Yes, they use one aircraft and they were on schedule services, but the present status now is that the certificate of the airworthiness of the status has been changed to non-schedule service, which is charter service. So, they are no longer into schedule service until they are able to meet the requirement for scheduled service.

“I will still reconfirm to you that whatever sanction we impose on any operator it’s in-line with Civil Regulation and it’s not punitive, but corrective. FirstNation was sanctioned, they appealed, the appeal, which was upheld. So, we are still working with them to pay the sanction. We don’t want to cripple any operations. If it is safety related, we will not waste time, but the payment is being worked out now.”

Also, the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yesterday commenced the re-assessment of the Nigerian aviation industry to know its level of compliance with international best practises.

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