Only airlines with functional AOCs will access bailout fund ― NCAA DG

• Says culprits behind impounded plane in Dubai will be sanctioned

According to the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, only airlines with functional Air Operators Certificate (AOC) would be allowed to enjoy the proposed bailout fund.

This is just as the NCAA DG hinted that all those involved in the violation of the Nigerian aviation regulations in the case involving the seizure of an aircraft in Dubai in July this year will be sanctioned accordingly.

On the 19th of July this year during the pandemic lockdown, a chartered aircraft from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, alleged to have flown some Nigerian mineral merchants to Dubai was impounded at the Dubai International Airport shortly after arriving the UAE.

Speaking at Gateway webinar organised by aviation journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Nuhu who said the bailout fund would be accessed by every entrepreneur across the sector, however, declared in line with the government policy guidelines that only functional airlines will benefit from the palliative fund when eventually released.

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He, however, urged the domestic airline operators not to repeat a similar mistake of allowing dead airlines to have access to the funds saying: “Any airline can apply, whether functioning or not but it is a policy that participating airlines must be functioning and with Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

I also believe that the AON has its own rules and they know the criteria, I believe the AON will not put forward a non- functioning airlines,” he said.

On support for domestic airlines, the Director-General said NCAA will do all in its powers to protect the airlines, adding the airlines should always go through the regulatory authority whenever they are planning to launch into any foreign route.

On the aircraft impounded in Dubai, Nuhu revealed that who disclosed that Nigeria had already concluded its investigation and forwarded all relevant documentation to the Dubai Authorities and the State of aircraft registration which is the United States.

According to him, additional information requested today, Wednesday in a letter to the NCAA by Dubai and the US Federal Aviation Administration, FAA had been sent, adding that the impounded aircraft was not a Nigerian aircraft but the US registered brought into Nigeria to operate under the Air Operators Certificate of Nigeria.

It was alleged that after a random ramp inspection conducted on the plane after landing by the UAE Civil Aviation authorities, serious safety infractions were discovered on it and subsequently impounded.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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