The Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu on Saturday said the regulatory body would not certify any airport that fails to meet the necessary requirements for certification.
He disclosed that any airport that has a deficiency would be grounded to the level of status they are.
The NCAA DG equally lamented that the lack of certification of the airports cost Nigeria 12 points in the just concluded International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit.
Nuhu, while speaking to reporters on why some of the country’s aerodromes like the Lagos and Abuja which were certified some years ago failed abysmally to retain their certifications said the certifications which were for three years had elapsed.
He noted that the airport operator which is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for many reasons has challenges that prevented it from meeting the requirements for certification.
His words, “It is worrisome, but we are working with them and the point you raised, certification of some airports has been going on for longer than necessary, but NCAA cannot give certification when you don’t meet the requirements.”
“If somebody is applying for Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and he doesn’t meet the requirements, what do we do? Because of that certification issue, we lost about 12 points in our audit, but I would rather miss those 12 points than do a certification that doesn’t meet the requirements. If we do that, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will come and say this certificate you gave is bogus. That does more damage to the credibility of the entire system.”
On the Kaduna airport repairs, the NCAA DG said there are reports on the airport, promising to check its present situation.
He disclosed that the Kaduna airport closure had to do with the issue of security rather than the state of the airport itself.
“The issue of Kaduna Airport, I don’t exactly think it is due to the status of the airport. There were security issues between the airport and the town and people were really scared. We are all aware of that.”
“Things have improved now and I am sure the state government too is taking measures to ensure they block all these challenges. I think the challenge there is more of security, but the situation has improved significantly and we will certainly look at the facilities at the airport.”
“After this audit, in fact, we are going to check all the airports; it’s not only the international airport. For all the airports in Nigeria, we are going to audit them and see their situations. Any airport that has a deficiency, it will be grounded to the level of status they are and that is the way they are.”