Capt. Ado Sanusi Heads Ministerial Task Force On Illegal PNCF Operations

Capt. Ado Sanusi Heads Ministerial Task Force On Illegal PNCF Operations

Capt. Ado Sanusi has been appointed as Chairman of a Ministerial Task Force on Illegal Private Charter Operations and Related Matters, inaugurated today by Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

Capt. Roland lyayi is the Vice Chairman of the Task Force. Other members are Director of Air Transport, FMA&AD – Secretary, Theresa A. Babaoye (DATR-NCAA), One Nominee from the National Security Adviser, Capt. Daniel, Capt. Patrick Ogunlowo and Obafemi Bajomo (SA-HMA).

Speaking during the inauguration, the Minister said the “Task Force is not only a response to the current challenges but also a proactive step towards ensuring the long-term sustainability and integrity of our aviation sector. We expect the Task-Force to work for 3 months, except circumstances require some extension,” adding that “the members of the Task Force have been carefully selected from within the aviation industry and are people of high repute and integrity.”

The Task Force’s terms of reference he said, are “to take inventory of all PNCF holders and AOC holders, to determine why the practice of illegal charters by PNCF holders persists in the country despite regulatory controls, to call in all professional licenses of pilots and crew in the country and determine their authenticity and validity, to recommend to the Minister any additional measures to be taken by regulatory agencies to stem this ugly tide, to recommend appropriate sanctions to be imposed by the regulatory agencies on defaulters, to recommend additional measures to further monitor the operations and activities of private aircraft in Nigeria” and “Any other terms of reference that may be determined by the Minister as the Task Force continues its work.”

Keyamo said: “It has come to my attention, through a series of disturbing reports, that practice of illegal charter operations is thriving within the aviation industry, thereby undermining the efforts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other regulatory bodies.

These illicit activities have not only resulted in significant financial losses to the Federal Government, but have also raised security and safety concerns as the operations of private aircraft owners have remained largely unchecked and unregulated. This has also resulted in using these private aircrafts for other illegal activities.

Last week, the National Security Adviser wrote to us, alerting us of the spike in money laundering, drug-trafficking and other illegal activities through the use of private aircrafts in the country. It appears that Private Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) operators have become increasingly emboldened, continuing their illegal operations with the assistance of Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who collect tolls and list these illegal charters under their AOCs.

Furthermore, we have received alarming reports that some crew members have not attended mandatory simulator trainings for nearly three years and are flying with fraudulently-obtained renewed licenses. Many of these individuals are operating planes registered under PNCF but are conducting illegal charter operations with impunity.

In light of these grave concerns and in alignment with two key objectives of our five-point agenda, I am compelled to take this decisive action. Today, am pleased to announce the establishment of the Ministerial Task Force on Illegal Private Charter Operations and Related Matters.”


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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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