Nigeria: NCAA Grounds 15 Aircraft Over Lease Agreement Breaches

Lagos — The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the Air Operator's Certificate of SkyPower Express Airways Nigeria Limited due to non-compliance and or violations of the provision of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CAR) Part 9.2.3.4(b).

The suspension is in respect of the aircraft leasing operation of the organisation's AOC under Specs Part G.

Although the AOC of the airline remains valid, it ceases to enjoy the right granted it to lease aircraft, particularly wet leasing arrangement, for operations.

This means grounding of the operations of the airline as it does not have any aircraft which it deploys for operations.

Similarly, NCAA suspended the operations of some private charter aircraft due to non- compliance of same.

The regulatory body in a letter dated June 30, 2020, NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/129, signed by the Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, titled: "Suspension of the Ops Specs Part G (Aircraft Leasing Operations) of Your Organisation's Air Operator's Certificate", communicated the suspension to the Managing Director of Sky Power Express Airways Nig Limited based in Kaduna.

The Nig. CARS Part 9.2.3.4(b) which refers to Wet Leasing aircraft states: (b) No holder of an AOC issued under this Part 9 may allow another entity or air operator to conduct wet-lease operations on its behalf (a wet lease in) unless - (1) That air operator holds an AOC or its equivalent from a Contracting State that authorises those operations; (2) The AOC holder advises the authority of such operations and provides a copy of the AOC under which the operation was conducted; (3) Such operation does not exceed a period of 12 months and (4) The authority approves the operations.

NCAA said the airline had violated the sections of the regulations and suspended the operations of eight aircraft covered by the violations.

When contacted yesterday, the Managing Director of the Sky Power Airline, Capt. Mohammed Joji, explained that the suspension only affected the foreign registered aircraft and that the airline's AOC remained intact.

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