The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has slammed a fine of N33.5 million on First Nation Airways and one of its pilots for violating safety regulations, the agency said in a statement by its General Manager of Public Affairs, Mr Sam Adurogboye.
The airline allowed one of its pilots to fly 16 times, since November 2016, without a valid medical certificate, the regulatory body of the Nigerian aviation industry said in slamming the fine, adding that other airlines have been put on notice.
Mr. Adurogboye said NCAA has ordered First Nation Airways and the pilot to pay the fine within seven days. The airline would pay N32 million while the Pilot – in – Command (PIC) of the aircraft in question will pay N1.5 million.
In his statement, Mr. Adurogboye said “during a Ramp Inspection on your Airbus A319 Aircraft with registration mark 5N-FNE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), it was discovered that the PIC was not in personal possession of a current medical certificate neither was it readily accessible. Consequent upon this, a Letter Of Investigation [LOI] was sent to the Airline and the Pilot”
The NCAA said the pilot later admitted violating Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) while the airline demonstrated lack of thorough knowledge of the requirements of the regulations.
“The airline has therefore contravened the regulations by allowing a flight crew member to be rostered to operate a total of 16 nos scheduled flights on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th November, 2016”.
NCAA said that these operations were carried out while his medical certificate had expired since the November 1, 2016, thereby rendering his Pilot License subsequently invalid from that date.
“NCAA said it sanctioned the airline in accordance with IS 1.3.3 (14) while the pilot suffered similar fate in line with IS 1.3.3(11) (15) (e), in lieu of suspension under IS 1.3.3(11)(15)(a) of the Nig.CARs 2015”.
It said the airline is required to pay a total sum of N32,000,000 only while the Pilot will pay N1.5 million only, being moderate civil penalty for the violation and that the fine must however be paid within seven days of receipt of the letter from the authority.
NCAA advised Airline Operators to acquaint themselves properly with the provisions of NCARs to guide their operations as violation[s] is viewed seriously.