Air Nigeria debunk been grounded by NCAA
By Daniel Eteghe
The Chairman, Air Nigeria, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim yesterday debunked the report by some media not (Vanguard) that the flight operations of Air Nigeria was been grounded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Speaking to newsmen at the airline’s head office in Lagos, Dr. Ibrahim stressed that NCAA had no basis for grounding the operations of the airline adding that the airline complies with all the international standards safety regulations.
Dr. Ibrahim who supported his claim with a memo shown to journalist said that the memo was written to the airline by the Director, Airworthiness Standards, NCAA, Engr. Patrick Ekunwe dated 12th June, 2012 with the reference number: NCAA/DAWS.002/12/VOL.1/149 with the title ‘Domestic and Regional Flight operations of Air Nigeria,’
Dr. Ibrhaim however caution the media to always verify and confirm any conflicting report from the airline for clarification purpose before going to bed as that was the bedrock of good journalistic practice.
The memo reads in part, “Please be informed that Air Nigeria has been cleared by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to resume its normal domestic and regional flight operations. Please grant them the necessary flight clearances accordingly.”
He further explained that it was normal for NCAA to recertify the aircraft of the airline after the one week strike embarked upon by members of its staff because of welfare purpose.
He said, “Air Nigeria cannot be grounded. It has no reason for it to be grounded. It’s the safety airline in Nigeria as at today. We belong to IATA and we are audited by IOSA. We have been a member of IATA for the past six years and we are the oldest in the West Africa.
“We are the safest airline in Nigeria today. Let other airlines operating in the country submit their papers for IOSA audit. Sincerely, NCAA has done its audit well and we were given clean bill of health. We today operate international operations and I want you to know that if we were not safe, we won’t be given the clearance to fly to Europe by the authorities there.”
He also said that for Nigeria airlines to be rated as among the safest airlines in the globe, the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation should make membership of the International Air Transport Association compulsory.