The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to deal decisively with aircraft owners on private operator licence who use their equipment to conduct illegal charter operations.
NCAA said any operator caught henceforth engaging in such unauthorised services would have its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) suspended or revoked.
The regulatory authority, therefore, reminded the various stakeholders that the holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with valid AOC are the only authorised operators to carry out charter operations.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the spokesman of the agency, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, this is in line with the NCAA statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of the general public and that of the investors in the aviation sector.
He said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 220.127.116.11 states, “No person shall use any aircraft in Nigeria for hire and reward in public transport category to provide non scheduled or charter air service unless such a person holds an ATL or Airline Operating Permit (AOP) issued by the authority.”
Adurogboye said for the purpose of verification and authentication, the list of current holders with appropriate authorisation to carry out Charter Operations can be found on the NCAA website.
“It, therefore, follows that any member of the public transacting business with any unauthorised operators will be doing so at a high risk as such operations may not have valid insurance cover,” he said.
However, THISDAY investigations revealed that the warning is not unconnected with the high demand for charter services at relatively high cost by political parties campaigning for next month’s elections.
THISDAY gathered that there is insufficient aircraft for charter and this has provided opportunity for those who have private jets to give them out for charter services at about N1 million per hour.
It was learnt that financial commitments such as parking charges, fueling, remuneration for cabin crew, funding cabin crew training and aircraft maintenance have become a huge drain pipe to private jet owners.
The development, it was gathered, has forced private jet owner to give out his aircraft for charter services in order to earn revenue.
From such earnings, he will be able to pay his crew, maintain the aircraft, pay for obligatory charges and possibly earn a profit.
But according to the 2006 Nigerian Civil Aviation Act, operating a charter service has a different procedure.
For instance, the owner of the aircraft must attach it to an operator that has Air Operator Certificate (AOC); he must pay five per cent charges to the NCAA from his earnings and five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT).