The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, says it has downscaled the Certificate of Airworthiness of FirstNation Airways as a scheduled operator to a non-scheduled operator over alleged violation of safety procedures.
Muhtar Usman, the Director-General of the agency, told journalists in Lagos on Monday that the airline had been operating only one aircraft for nine months as a scheduled operation for charter services.
The director-general explained that the sanction should not be seen as punitive, but as a corrective measure to prevent recurrence.
According to him, the airline has now downscaled its operations from scheduled operator to non-scheduled and the status will remain so until it increases its fleet to at least two.
“Yes, they use one aircraft and they were on schedule services, but the present status now is that the certificate of the airworthiness of the status has been changed to non-scheduled service which is charter service.
“So, they are no longer into schedule service until they are able to meet the requirement for scheduled service.
“I will still reconfirm to you that whatever sanction we impose on any operator is in line with civil regulations and it is not punitive, but corrective.
“FirstNation was sanctioned, they appealed, the appeal which was upheld. Hence, we are still working with them to pay the sanction,” Mr. Usman said.
Mr. Usman said it was not in the interest of NCAA to “cripple” an airline’s operation if it had not been involved in safety issues.
“We do not want to cripple the operations of our local airlines. If it is safety-related, we will not waste time, but the payment is being worked out now.”