A letter from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed that the controversial national carrier, Nigeria Air has been unable to move on to phase two of the Air Operator Certificate certification procedure.
Local airline operators had objected to the Federal Government’s delivery of the first Nigeria Air plane on the grounds that it violated a court order prohibiting the government from moving further with the project.
But according to a letter sent to the managing director of Nigeria Air on Friday and dated June 2, 2023, the airline’s request to move forward did not include the formal application form and the required paperwork, as stated in an earlier letter dated May 16, 2023.
The letter reads, “The Authority is in receipt of your letter dated 25th May 2023 on the subject matter. Quite contrary to our earlier letter of 16th May 2023 which enumerated the documents to be submitted with the Formal Application Form OPS 002, your letter of request to proceed to Phase Two has no inclusion of a Formal Application Form and the necessary documents referenced in the Formal Application Form. Hence, the Certification Process cannot progress to Phase Two (2) without these required documents.”
The process of obtaining the all-important AOC involves five stages.
Stage one is the pre-application phase where the NCAA will appoint a certification team and process the pre-application statement of intent form (AC-OPS 001). In this stage, discussions on all regulatory requirements, the formal application and attachments and any other related issues will take place. This is usually a week’s process.
Stage two involves a formal application for intending entrants where documents and manuals (including the curricula vitae of key management personnel) must be submitted for evaluation. The minimum timeframe for the formal application phase is two weeks.
Stage three involves document evaluation where the NCAA will review the applicant’s manuals and other related documents and attachments to ensure conformity with the applicable regulations and safe operating practices. The minimum time frame for the document evaluation phase is three months.
Stage Four: Demonstration and inspection; this is a key stage of the process carried out only after a satisfactory documentation evaluation phase. In this stage, a thorough audit by the certification team at the applicant’s premises will be conducted to ensure that the proposed procedures are effective and that the applicant’s facilities and equipment meet the NCAA’s regulatory requirements.
Also at this stage, other demonstrations like emergency evacuation and ditching will be carried out and after successes in these exercises; a demonstration flight will be carried out. The minimum time-frame for the demonstration and inspection phase is two months.