NCAA said First Nation Airways' suspension is sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of it AOC by carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.
Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, in a letter issued to the airline on Friday, May 11, 2018, said the suspension is sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of it AOC by carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.
The letter titled: NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF AIR OPERATORS CERTIFICATE was acknowledged by First Nation Airways on the same day.
Adurogboye said the agency revealed that when the AOC of First Nation Airways expired, the airline did not have at least two (2) airworthy aircraft capable of servicing its approved schedule as required by Part 220.127.116.11(b)(2) (ii) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.
“Consequently, the Airline’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was, upon renewal, restricted to a non-scheduled operation, (Charter) only.
“However, First Nation Airways embarked on scheduled operations with the continuous advertisement of its services and sold tickets at its Check-in counters in Lagos and Abuja Airports.”
The authority had earlier notified the airline that it was investigating these violations. Subsequently, in a letter dated August 31, 2017, the airline was directed to stop the illegal operations forthwith, warning that failure to desist would lead to a suspension of its operating authorisation.
On further investigation, it was discovered that the airline had disregarded all warnings and continued with the unauthorised and illegal operations in violation of its AOC terms and conditions of issuance.
The provisions of Part 18.104.22.168(d) of the Nig.CARS 2015 provides that “Each AOC holder shall at all times, continue in compliance with the AOC terms and conditions of issuance, and maintenance requirements in order to hold that certificate.”
The aviation agency said based on its finding, First Nation Airways is no longer fit to operate air transport business under the authority of the AOC pursuant to Section 35(2),(3) (a) (ii) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006.
The operators of the Airline are expected to return the AOC to the authority’s Director of Operations and Training within seven (7) days of its suspension.
The agency said it shall review the airline’s operations and restore the AOC to enable it to commence operations anytime the airline demonstrates ability and willingness to comply with the extant regulations.
First Nation Airways is one of the eight indigenous airlines in Nigeria. The domestic carrier suspended operations in 2016 and 2017 for various airline maintenance.