AM EDITORIAL: The Regulator’s Hammer On Violator PNCF Operators

The use of private jets for commercial purposes has been happening for several years at the expense of government revenue and air safety and had constituted a depletion of revenue for licensed charter and scheduled commercial airline investors.

The Ticket Sales Charge that ought to go to the NCAA is depleted by this act. Data capturing efforts of the industry are frustrated while the under-regulation of the general aviation sub-sector is boosted by this illegal activity. The gray market problems and many other negative effects of such operations on the aviation sector and the Nigerian economy cannot be over-emphasized.

PNCF Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders, who wish to use their aircraft for charter operations are supposed to apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specification.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) must therefore be applauded for its recent clampdown on violators of the annexure provision of their Permit for Non Commercial Flights (PNCF) and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2023, involving the announced suspension of three violators in a statement signed by NCAA’s Acting Director General, Civil Aviation, Capt. Chris Ona Najomo on April 16, 2024 , after issuing a stern warning  in March 2024, to holders of the PNCF, against engaging in the carriage of passenger cargo or mail for hire and reward.

However, the names of the three violators that NCAA suspended were kept under wraps. We believe that the NCAA should have as part of display of commitment to doing things differently, published the names of such violators.

As a matter of fact, apart from telling the travelling public not to patronize any airline charter operator who does not hold a valid Air Operators Certificate issued by the NCAA, when they wish to procure charter operations services, the regulator should publish the list of all recognized PNCF Certificate holders in Nigeria, so everyone gets to know them.

Every qualified individual and corporate entity has a right to secure and own an AOC, be it for scheduled, charter or PNCF operations and so, we do not see any rationale behind refraining from naming violators.

In the interest of safety and economic progress of the aviation sector, we urge the NCAA to take punitive measures transparently to achieve the boosting of public confidence that it intends to achieve, especially after the Honourable Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development, Barrister Festus Keyamo (SAN) had stated in a Television Interview that internal collaborators are involved in this act of violation. The NCAA is doing very well but can do better. AM

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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