NCAA move to sanction airlines operating in Nigeria over fake departure schedules

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says some airlines operating in the country have been accused of issuing fake departure schedules, and the agency has threatened to sanction them for engaging in deceitful scheduling.

NCAA acting director-general Chris Najomo said this in a statement on Tuesday.

The NCAA warned the airlines to desist from the infraction or face dire regulatory actions.

Mr Najomo said, “The NCAA now runs a zero-tolerance approach to regulatory infractions. Ease of doing business is the crux of the D-G’s action plan for the NCAA. In line with that action plan, he has made processes for licensing easy for operators.

“The time to secure AOC is now shorter and less cumbersome than it used to be in the past. The NCAA therefore expects reciprocity from airlines, chief of which is world-class services to passengers.”

If the NCAA enabled a business-friendly environment for operators, then the operators must satisfy the passengers with superior services, Mr Najomo stressed.

The NCAA chief added, “It has come to our notice that some airlines are being reported for advertising deceitful departure times.

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“The NCAA regulation says no airline shall display deceitful passenger departure time at its counter, advert material or on its website. We want to make it very clear that the D-GCA has directed monitoring, and offenders will face serious regulatory actions.”

Mr Najomo also stated that the NCAA believed in safety, discipline, and economic regulation, evident in the recent suspension of 10 permits for non-commercial flights (PHCF) holders for failing to comply with the recertification advisory issued in April 2024.

Speaking about the ease of doing business environment at the NCAA, Mr Najomo said the ease of business is an area the Authority would continue to improve.

“This is evident in our high score on the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) ranking. Recently, our sister agency scored 96 per cent, but the NCAA scored 98.5 per cent, which is an extremely high score,” he explained.

Mr Najomo added, “This is building from the commendable score of 71.04 per cent the NCAA scored during this year’s ICAO security audit. The numbers are improving, and we will continue to do what we can to make the industry safer and more secure for passengers and stakeholders.”

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Regarding the difficulty in refund processes by airlines, Mr Najomo said all refunds by airlines must be done without undue delays and that the process should conclude in 14 working days regardless of the mode of purchase of the tickets.

On the suspension of PHCF licenses of ten operators, he explained that they were advised since April 2024 to commence the process for recertification but they refused to comply, leaving the NCAA with no option but to sanction them.

Mr Najomo explained the NCAA’s actions, citing the Civil Aviation Act 2022. He said the steps taken by the NCAA were part of its mandate to ensure compliance with the civil aviation law establishing it and the attendant regulations.

With NAN report

 

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