ART Condemns Minister Keyamo’s Interference In NCAA, Aviation Agencies’ Duties

The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) popularly known as ART, has expressed its disappointment with the actions of the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development and the Ministry, which it says is contrary to law and process and to the promise of the Honourable Minister to respect both law and process,  and to restore autonomy to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

A statement signed by ASRTI General Secretary, Olumide Ohunayo reads: “The suspension of the entire operations of DANA Airlines directed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development runs against these principles and indicates a return to the ugly past that destroys confidence in the industry and by the global community on the principles of an autonomous industry regulator, representing a threat to safety, security in the sector generally.

ART condemns the external interference demonstrated by the Minister’s directive which serves to erode the institutional autonomy and jeopardizes safety in the aviation sector. ART hereby reiterates its commitment to the non-negotiable autonomy of the NCAA as stated in Section 4 (3) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act

The conduct of financial audits of airlines lies exclusively with the NCAA. The decisions on what are appropriate sanctions for violations also lie with the NCAA exclusively.

The ART hereby advises an immediate lifting of the suspension of the entire operation of  Dana Airlines and demands an apology to the entire Aviation community for the actions from the HMA&A and the Ministry while the NCAA / NSIB investigation continues on the affected MD 82  aircraft or fleet and the company Dana,  for which the NCAA is expected to carry on its role and met the appropriate actions.

ART also advises the HMA&A to concentrate his efforts on policy issues that positively impact the airline industry.

ART also demands that other agencies be allowed to carry out their statutory obligations without interference, including the observed interferences at FAAN. ART also requests that the HMA&A move promptly to appoint the required Boards to enable the smooth and properly guided operations of Agencies.

The ART commends the NCAA for the recent suspension of three non-schedule operators for operational infractions and urges the NCAA to make public, the list of the airlines concerned in the reported infractions for transparency as well as to highlight actions others must avoid to prevent the same outcomes.

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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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