The apex aviation regulatory agency in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has fined First Nation Airways and one of its pilots, the sum of N32 million and N1.5 million respectively over violation of safety regulations.
NCAA made this known in an official statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, which was made available to journalists on Sunday.
According to NCAA, “during a Ramp Inspection on your Airbus A319 Aircraft with registration mark 5N-FNE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), it was discovered that the Pilot in Command (PIC) was not in personal possession of a current medical certificate neither was it readily accessible.”
NCAA, in a sanction letter sent to the airline, has therefore ordered the airline to pay a sum of N32 million while the PIC of the aircraft, will pay N1.5 million.
According to the agency, “in their response, the pilot admitted violating Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) while the airline demonstrated lack of thorough knowledge of the requirements of the regulations.
“Therefore, the airline has contravened the regulations by allowing a flight crew member to be rostered to operate a total of 16 scheduled flights on the November 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8, 2016. These operations were carried out while his medical certificate had expired since on November 1, 2016, thereby rendering his Pilot License subsequently invalid from that date.
“In light of these, the airline is hereby sanctioned, in accordance with IS 1.3.3 (14) while the pilot suffered similar fate in line with IS 1.3.3(11) (15) (e), in lieu of suspension under IS 1.3.3(11)(15)(a) of the Nigeria CARs 2015. On this strength, the airline is required to pay a total sum of N32 million while the Pilot will pay N1.5 million, being moderate civil penalty for the violation. The fine must however be paid within seven (7) days of receipt of the letter from the Authority,” NCAA further warned.
The agency has equally advised all Airline Operators to acquaint themselves properly with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) to guide their operations, adding that “violation (s) is viewed seriously.”