The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of First Nation Airways indefinitely.
The suspension according to a statement signed by NCAA General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, is sequel to the flagrant and continuous violation of the terms and conditions of issuance of it AOC by the Airline thereby carrying out unauthorised and illegal operations.
Adurogboye in the statement added that the suspension was conveyed to the Airline via a letter on Friday, May 11, 2018 and First Nation Airways acknowledged receipt.
“The letter revealed that when the AOC of First Nation Airways expired, the airline did not have at least two airworthy aircraft capable of servicing its approved schedule as required by Part 22.214.171.124(b)(2) (ii) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (Nig.CARS) 2015.
“Consequently, the Airline’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was, upon renewal, restricted to non-scheduled operation, (Charter) only.
“However, First Nation Airways embarked on scheduled operations with continuous advertisement of its services and sold tickets at its Check-in counters in Lagos and Abuja Airports,” the statement read in part.
NCAA said it had earlier notified the Airline that it was investigating these violations. Subsequently, by a letter dated 31st August 2017, the Airline was directed to stop the illegal operations forthwith, warning that failure to desist would lead to a suspension of its operating authorisation.
“It was discovered that the Airline had disregarded all warnings and continued with the unauthorised and illegal operations in violation of its AOC terms and conditions of issuance.
“This is contrary to the provisions of Part 126.96.36.199(d) of the Nig.CARS 2015 which provides that “Each AOC holder shall at all times, continue in compliance with the AOC terms and conditions of issuance, and maintenance requirements in order to hold that certificate.”
The Authority has therefore revealed that First Nation Airways is no longer fit to operate air transport business under the authority of the AOC. With effect from the May 11, 2018, the Airline’s AOC was suspended indefinitely.
In addition, the operators of the Airline are expected to return the AOC to the Authority’s Director of Operations and Training within seven (7) days of receiving the letter.
First Nation Airways is one of the eight indigenous airlines in Nigeria.