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Aviation Safety: NCAA suspends 10 private jet operators for regulatory infractions (Full List)

*The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority announces the suspension of operating licences of 10 private jet companies for violating the country’s regulatory provisions on the Permit for Non-Commercial Flight, and related security concerns

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Thursday, July 5, 2024, announced the aviation regulatory agency has suspended the licences of 10 private jet companies that violated its regulations.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Michael Achimugu, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at NCAA, disclosed the development Friday via a statement on the agency’s official X page.

The NCAA has reportedly warned industry stakeholders, that it is illegal to engage PNCF holders for commercial purposes.

The affected private jet owners include Azikel Dredging Nigeria Limited, Bli-Aviation Safety Services, Ferry Aviation Developments Limited, Matrix Energy Limited and Marrietta Management Services Limited.

Others that have their Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) suspended are Worldwide Skypaths Services, Mattini Airline Services Limited, Aero Lead Limited, Sky Bird Air Limited and Ezuma Jets Limited.

Citing relevant provisions to justify its decision to suspend licences of the 10 affected private jet operators, Achimugu noted the NCAA Regulations 2023 Part 18.3.4 forbids holders of Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) from using their aircraft to carry passengers, cargo or mail for hire or reward (commercial operation or charter services).

Sequel to flagrant disregard of this regulation, the aviation sector regulator said it had earlier directed all holders of PNCF to undergo re-evaluation, which should have been concluded by April 19 this year.

The statement also noted: “To this end, the NCAA has suspended the Permit for Non Commercial Flights of Azikel Dredging Nigeria Ltd, Bli-Aviation Safety Services, Ferry Aviation Developments Ltd, Matrix Energy Ltd, Marrietta Management Services Ltd,.

Worldwide Skypaths Services, Mattini Airline Services Ltd, Aero Lead Ltd, Sky Bird Air Ltd and Ezuma Jets Ltd.”

The NCAA warned that engaging PNCF holders for commercial purposes is illegal, stressing it will not hesitate to initiate enforcement actions against any PNCF holder found guilty of illegal operations in the country’s aviation space.

Achimugu stated: “Furthermore, NCAA officials have been deployed to General Aviation Terminals (GAT) and private wings of the airports to monitor activities of the PNCF holders.”

On illegal use of private jets for commercial purposes

It is recalled that the NCAA, earlier this year had suspended three private jet owners for performing commercial flight operations in Nigeria.

The industry regulator at the time said the use of private jets for commercial purposes prompted Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, CON, Honourable Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development, to issue directives for the cessation of such acts.

Mr. Chris Najomo, Acting Director of NCAA, was quoted to have said: “In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the Authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed a reevaluation of all holders of PNCF be carried out on or before the 19th of April 2024 to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements.”

Najomo also directed that all “PNCF holders must submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours.”

This riot act was also directed at existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders, who utilise aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

Ministerial interventions to curb infractions in aviation practice

Subsequent to the move, Keyamo, in June 2024, inaugurated an eight-member ministerial task force committee on “illegal private chartered operations and related matters”.

The Minister noted the Committee was mandated to address alleged money laundering, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities by private jet operators in Nigeria.

He asserted: “To stem the practice of illegal chartered operations, including illicit activities raising security and safety concerns culminating in significant financial losses to the Federal Government, Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, CON, FciArb. (UK), has inaugurated a Ministerial Task Force Committee on illegal private chartered operations and related matters.”

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