Airline businesses not run on cheap blackmail

WITHOUT doubt, by now it should have become clearer to the aviation authorities particularly the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that forthwith, there is the need to be more thorough before issuing Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to incoming airlines.

The need to be more thorough becomes pertinent as this will enable the regulatory agency to check if the coming airline has studied and learnt the intricacies involved in running airline business.

In other words, owning an airline does not only stop in having aircraft and personnel, but in realising the fact that in running an airline business there are laws guiding the procedures which cannot be compromised for whatever reasons because human lives are involved.

And in issuing any incoming airline an AOC, there is the need to emphasise the herculean task ahead vis-a-vis how the owner of such airline should be made to know that there is no sacred cow, no matter your class when there are issues.

The need for NCAA to focus more attention on these and many more is to prevent a repeat of the ugly scenario that has played out and still playing out since the suspension of Azman Airline over violations of safety rules.

It is no longer news how the airline was suspended by the regulatory body after records of infractions in its operations and the unprofessional actions taken by the airline to save an already exposed face.

The decision by the airline to shy away from defending all the allegations leveled against it but resort to cheap blackmail is the first of its kind in the history of the sector as no other airline under suspension or investigation had ever attempted to engage in such misdemeanor.

This may be attributed to the barrage of reactions that have been trailing the development coming from different interested parties within the sector.

The huge debates and criticisms trailing the Azman unethical action may not be unconnected to the obvious spillover effect the accusation leveled against leadership of the regulatory body may have on the credibility of the civil aviation regulations in the country before the international community.

Though the airline has finally said that the said letter accusing the NCAA DG of witch hunt did not emanate from its office, an attempt which many people did not accept, one obvious fact is that Azman Airline has many safety issues calling for answers from the NCAA and the flying public.

Either the airline denied being behind the letter or not, the fact is there is an urgent need for those managing its affairs to purge themselves of such unprofessional acts and also realize that running an airline business is different from other businesses.

Airline business is different from other businesses because of its sensitivity and for the fact that the principles guiding it are based on international standards that cannot be compromised on the altar of influence.

The rule is that once your operations are questionable, the responsible authority, the NCAA or the Accident Investigation Bureau, depending on the identified issues swing into action through investigations to unravel what the problem is and take the required action which must have led to the suspension of Azman.

As expected of an airline management that knows the meaning of airline business, you are at that level expected to open your books to the regulatory authority if you don’t have any skeleton in your cupboard.

Therefore, from all indications, Azman has given many people the room for suspicion and the action of the airline was not only unfair to the NCAA DG, but also to the country’s aviation sector in view of the international impact.

At this juncture, there is the need for the NCAA to ignore any act of blackmail but ensure the safety books of the airline are properly checked and if possible give sanctions because human lives are involved. Above all, anyone venturing into airline business in the country should know that the level of money in their bank accounts or their connection cannot be used to replace human lives. Therefore, they either follow the safety rules or leave the scene without killing innocent travelers.

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