FG appoints new directors for aviation agency NCAA

The Federal Government on Monday approved the appointment of five new directors and one General Manager for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

The NCAA made the announcement in a statement issued by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Sam Adurogboye, in Lagos.

Mr. Adurogboye explained that the appointment was with immediate effect.

He said that those appointed were Edem Oyo-Ita as Director of Air Transport Regulations; Abbas Sanusi, Director, Human Resources and Administration; Adamu Sani, Director of Finance and Accounts; Odunowo Adetunji, Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards; Ita Awak, Director of Airworthiness Standards; and Lawrence Kwajok, General Manager, Air Navigational Standards.

The federal government had on Friday sacked all the directors in the agency.

The sacked directors were Salawu Ozigi, Joyce Nkemakolam, Aba Ejembi, Emmanuel Ogunbami, Benedict Adeyileka, Justus Wariya, and Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi.

Two other directors who were sacked on Friday were recalled on Saturday.

Those recalled are Adamu Abdullahi, Director of Consumer Protection; and Ayodele Sasegbon, Director of General Aviation.


Source: NAN

Aviation minister invites foreign airlines to inspect Kaduna Airport

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, has invited foreign airline operators to inspect the Kaduna international airport.

The airport will be used as an alternative during the six weeks that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would be closed.

Speaking on Thursday during a meeting with representatives of the foreign airlines operating the Abuja route, Sirika said he called the meeting to know if the operators would need additional facilities at the Kaduna airport.

The minister said the Kaduna airport was fully ready to accommodate traffic diversion from Abuja between March 8 and April 9 – the period the Abuja runway would be undergoing repairs.

“We also planned to invite you to visit Kaduna probably in the next few days which we will be showing you the level of preparedness for the movement into Kaduna,” Sirika said.

“I thought it wise that at this point in time, having made Kaduna very ready for the operation, there is need to discuss certain things with you. I have called this meeting to discuss how movement into Kaduna would look like and to know if there are further requirements.”

Although, representatives of the foreign airlines declined to speak with journalists after the meeting, it was learnt that the Ethiopian Airlines expressed its readiness to fly to the Kaduna airport.


Source: The Cable

JUST IN: President Buhari sacks heads of 4 aviation agencies.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the dismissal of heads of three agencies and one college in the nation’s aviation industry.

Those relieved of their jobs are Emma Anasi, managing director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA); Anthony Anuforom, director-general of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet); Samuel Caulcrick, rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria; and Felix Abali, commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Sabiu Zakari, permanent secretary, ministry of transportation, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Fola Akinkuotu has been named the new managing director of NAMA. Akinkuotu is a seasoned transport pilot, flight and aircraft maintenance engineer.

Also, Sani Mashi, a professor of Geography with specialty in environmental application of remote sensing, is the new NiMet director-general.

Mashi is the current deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Abuja.

Abdulsalam Mohammed, a renowned civil aviation trainer and examiner with accreditation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Civil Aviation Administration, is the new rector of NCAT, Zaria.

Similarly, Akinola Olateru, an engineer of international repute, will take over as the head of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Olateru is a trained air accident manager and Certified Safety Officer with Aircraft Maintenance Engineering licenses in Nigeria, US and the United Kingdom.

JUST IN: National airline to begin operations this year.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, says Nigeria will have a very strong, viable national airline before the end of 2017.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Sirika said the project would  be private sector driven, and the federal government may own only three percent of the airline.

“When we came in we were very clear on our targets and goals and what we set out to achieve, and we did say that Nigeria does need a national airline. The national airline will be one that the government will have no hand in; normally it can have three percent,” he said.

“It will be private sector-led, private sector-driven. Except with the Ethiopian airline it has been proven that government doesn’t do well with this kind of venture.

“We are going to have a national carrier; it is on course and because it is a PPP thing it has to go through IC and C, and also has to follow all the due process. So it is time-consuming but I hope very soon before the end of the year we will have a very strong viable national airline.”

He said the carrier is necessary, considering the size of the market available in west and central Africa — equivalent to that of the US and Europe.

“For me, if any air line will have the capacity to deploy several aircraft with seamless operation, non disruptive, provide the service, go the long haul, take advantage and give other international airlines a run for their money, we don’t need to get involved; it is because there is none.

“The Nigerian Airways used to do all of these but in the wisdom of the then government they liberalised the sector, because of the absence of Nigeria’s capacity most of these airlines will come and leave as fast as they came in. But we are addressing all of these.

“We are going to establish this national carrier and it will give good service. This is the solution because Nigeria has the market, we are 180 million, we are sitting in West Africa and in the West African market we are 450 million and Nigeria is the major player.

“If you add the Central Africa, which is the Central belt, we are 600 million people, which is equivalent to the US market and also equal to the European market.”

Nigeria’s previous national carrier was the Nigeria Airways, wholly owned by the government and founded in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation, but it ceased operations in 2003.

UPDATE: No survivors in Pakistan air crash

The Pakistan Aviation Authority on Wednesday said all the 48 people on board a commercial aircraft that crashed in northern part of the country were killed.


“It is sad and tragic, but we confirm that there are no survivors in PIA’s ATR crash,’’ the Civil Aviation Authority said.


The charred bodies of 42 passengers and six crew members were being shifted to a hospital for DNA test to help identify them, police official Tahir Iqbal said.

Cost of air travel may rise as NCAA audits operators

A fresh audit of airlines plying the nation’s domestic routes has begun. The audit, by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which will reveal the true financial status of the local airlines, is to ensure that none of the seven operators cut corners and put lives at risk.

The regulator could also wield the big stick by grounding defaulting airlines or some aircraft thereby putting more pressure on the cost of local flights. Such a penalty on defaulting airlines will mean that the Nigerian airspace will shrink further, leaving fewer aircraft available to the nation’s teeming local passengers and pushing up prices for air tickets.

Poor road network has put pressure on road travels leading to huge man-hour and economic losses. A 500-kilometre trip on the Lagos-Abuja road could take as many as 12 hours or even a whole day whereas it takes less than four-and-half-hour drive to travel the same distance in South Africa. The impact of the difficulties encountered by road users has made airlines the lifeblood of Nigeria’s transport sector. Trying to reduce the number of airlines means higher prices and more threats to local tourism, businesses and the freight industry.

There has been public concern over the health of domestic airlines, given reports on financial distress and huge indebtedness to banks and regulatory agencies.

Besides Aero Contractors that has “temporarily” shut down scheduled flights services, others like Arik Air, Med-View, First Nation, Air Peace, Dana, Overland and Azman have been complaining of difficulty in satisfying obligations in the area of fuel, maintenance and charges, amidst low patronage due to recession.

The Guardian learnt that the entire seven operating domestic airlines currently run on 40 aircraft, of which only 28 are currently flying. The sector had about 60 functional commercial aircraft in December 2015.

Confirming the audit, the Director-General of the NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman said the authority was strongly monitoring operators’ activities and that travellers had no reason to fear any mishap.

Usman said the NCAA sanctioned some airlines and pilots recently, when they strayed from the rules and regulations, adding that it would not be any different this time, despite efforts to support the airlines to remain in business.

“One of the major components of the regulatory agency is surveillance and we have intensified that, especially since this recession started, to ensure that all operators are abiding by the provisions of safety and security regulations. And in the areas of enforcement and compliance, we have done a lot,” he said.

“There are those that thought they would slip under our radar and do things that they should not do. We were able to sanction a number of operators and individuals who had licences and were trying to operate in ways contrary to the privileges given to them in their licences.

“These include the pilots we caught and suspended from operating flights as a result of testing positive to illicit substances, and some flying without necessary documentations and other infractions,” he said.

Usman noted that contrary to reports, NCAA has been carrying out both local and international trainings which are the bedrock of civil aviation authority anywhere in the world.

A member of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), who would not want his name mentioned, however, said that the NCAA itself needed to be audited to test its level of effectiveness and efficiency in ensuring growth and safety in the sector.

He said the issues in the aviation were more deep-seated than “finding faults” in domestic airlines.

“Today, as we speak, there is no fuel to power the aircraft, we cannot freely access forex to meet obligations and buy spare parts. We are moving from one industry dispute to the other. How have the regulators themselves helped to address this problem? That is why I said that NCAA itself should be audited.”

The Chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI), Capt. Dung Rwang Pam, said that the NCAA had the onerous responsibility to ensure that airlines run strictly by the international rules.

According to him, the NCAA has a mandate to first ensure that Nigerians have safety, efficient, comfortable and sustainable air transport system. “Part 9, Section 30, Sub-section 4B and C of the 2006 Civil Aviation Act mandates them to carry out the evaluation and analysis of operations of all Nigerian registered airlines in order to determine their financial capability to carry out safe operations.

“It is a huge responsibility and multifaceted. With the autonomy that they have, they are not supposed to suffer any form of political interference as long as they go according to the mandate. If they don’t, they have failed,” he said.

Aviation unions suspend industrial action against Caverton Helicopters.

Aviation trade unions have suspended their industrial action against Caverton Helicopters over alleged anti-labour practices.


Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, confirmed the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.


Abioye said the unions had suspended the action following an invitation by the airline’s management to them to come for a meeting.


He said: “Now we are preparing for a meeting with the management and we are looking forward to an amicable resolution of the issues on ground.

“Our main demand is the conclusion of the ongoing discussion on salary increment and conditions of service.


“When we complete that, we will now go to the next one which is the management’s plan to disengage certain numbers of staff.


“We are hoping that we will be able to apply the conditions of service which we would have signed as the benchmark to determine the conditions on which those affected are to go, if they have to go.”


NAN reports that the NUATE and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria had on Thursday picketed the airline’s premises at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Airlines Cancel Flights Over Aviation Fuel Scarcity

The scarcity of aviation fuel, which has affected the industry over the past few days, became worse on Sunday as a number of domestic airlines cancelled their evening flights out of Lagos, while others simply rescheduled them.

Among the airlines that cancelled their flights were Aero Contractors, Medview and First Nation, while Dana Air rescheduled it flights out of Lagos.

As a result, many passengers, who were due to travel from the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2, had their plans disrupted.

Stakeholders in the industry had recently estimated that the scarcity of aviation fuel had led to 50 per cent reduction of the carrying capacities of the local airlines.

An intending passenger, who was scheduled to fly into Abuja, explained that while some passengers made frantic efforts to make alternative flight arrangements, several others whose flights were cancelled left the airport in disappointment.

According to the passenger who was due to fly Dana Air’s flight 9J 359 from Lagos to Abuja, the 5.10pm flight was cancelled with the passengers dispersing in disappointment.

However, he later received a message from the airline’s customer service team at about 5.50pm, informing him that the flight had been rescheduled for 18.30 hours.

Credit: Punch

Airport Attacks: ICAO President Meets Aviation Authorities

The President of International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu says the organisation has been engaging ministers of aviation globally in discussions in view of recent airport attacks to strengthen security across the globe.

Speaking in an interview with aviation reporters in Abuja after a dinner organized in his honour by the ministry of aviation, Dr Aliu said aviation security being a sensitive one, will not disclose the strategies to be implemented but he assured of collaborations with Nigeria in order to nip any threat in the bud as security was one of the critical issues in aviation.

According to the ICAO President, “Few months ago, I did send a team to do assessment in Nigeria and also in some neighbouring countries including Chad and Cameron”

Dr Aliu said ICAO was working very closely with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria to transform the college to a regional training college of excellence as means of capacity building.

He said the level of infrastructural development and implementation has been encouraging.

On his challenges as the ICAO President,  Dr Aliu said one of the challenges was to see how to raise the level of implementation of ICAO standard of recommended international practices among member countries not withstanding their level of resources.

Dr Aliu declared that for Nigeria to be a hub, strong  indigenous carriers, developed and equipped airports to partner in order to make the country a hub.

He expressed the hope that with the determination of President Buhari to rid the nation of corruption that the country especially the aviation sector will bounce back as corruption has eaten deep into the system including the civil aviation in the country.

Aliu explained that with a professional as the minister of state for aviation, there was no doubt that the sector will be transformed soon especially by pulling ICAO resources together at the disposal of Nigeria to develop the aviation sector.

“We launched a campaign few years ago so that no country is left behind , the focus of which is to support our developing states, ICAO is an organization of 191 countries, some are very endowed and some are less endowed.  All the member states have to fulfill the same standard and recommended practices  there is no short cut . In doing that, we can not cover the whole 191 states, we have to work with regional offices. In Africa, Nigeria will be the number one candidate.”

Credit: DailyTimes

Hadi Sirika Warns Airline Operators

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has warned airline operators, especially international airlines, against shabby treatment of Nigerian passengers who travel on board their flights.



Sirika gave the warning when a delegation from the Emirates Group paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, a statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs Unit, Office of the Minister, on Monday, said.



The statement said the minister warned that the government would no longer condone the practice of subjecting Nigerian travellers to all forms of suffering.


It said that Sirika specifically warned against making them walk long distances before boarding or using small aircraft that would not carry them along with their luggage to their destinations.



“Sirika informed the group that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been directed to invoke all relevant laws to protect the interest and rights of Nigerians and others from being flagrantly abused by airlines.


He, however, assured the operators of the Federal Government’s commitment to complete the overhaul and upgrading of the nation’s airport facilities to make the use of Nigeria’s airspace a delightful experience.”



The statement added that the minister gave assurance that the second terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, now under construction, would be ready before the end of the year.



It added that the completion of the project would improve the comfort and convenience of both airline operators and the flying public.



It said that Mr. David Broz, the Vice president Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs, Emirate Group, had earlier pledged the commitment of the airline to serve Nigeria better, being its second biggest market in Africa.



He commended the government for its efforts to upgrade airports’ facilities and promised that the group would to maintain a good relationship with Nigeria, to ensure its smooth operation in the country.





Airline Operators Urge Sirika To Create Jobs In Aviation Industry

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Wednesday urged the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, to use aviation to create jobs for youths in the country.


The President of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.

“He should use aviation to create employment for our youths. We have over 500 pilots who are unemployed. We have thousands of unemployed engineers too.

“Aviation can easily generate 100,000 support services. So, he should use aviation to catapult employment in the country,’’ Meggison said.


He also advised Sirika to review the policies governing aviation in Nigeria and ensure that they were geared toward economic growth and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.


“Right now, we can see that there is decline in our oil revenue. So, they should concentrate on aviation so that it can generate income.

“This can be achieved when the right policies are put in place by the government,’’ the AON president said.


Meggison commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a professional to head the industry, expressing optimism that the minister would bring his wealth of experience to bear in discharging his responsibilities.

He said: “We are happy that we are getting one of us, who is a pilot coming into the industry to head it.

So, we are hoping that he will bring professionalism to the industry. We will support him and wish him the best’’.

On the merger of the aviation ministry with its transport counterpart, Meggison said the move became necessary due to past abuses and the exigency of the present situation in the country.

He said: “If you look at Nigeria as at today, with our economic situation, if the government is merging ministries, it is a welcome idea.

“I am sure government must have thought about it before rolling out its plans. So, it is maybe trying to maximise output with our limited resources.

“In the past, the head of parastatals were always in Abuja answering to the ministry of aviation but without that board now, hopefully the parastatals will have freer time to concentrate’’.




Union Advises New Minister Of State For Aviation To Rehabilitate Airport Facilities

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) on Friday urged the new Minister of State for Aviation, Capt Hadi Sirika, to concentrate on rehabilitating infrastructure and facilities across the airports in the country.


NUATE’s Acting General Secretary, Mr Olayinka Abioye, in an interview in Lagos said that facilities in some of the nation’s airports were also obsolete and needed upgrading in line with international standard.


He said that the country could not be at par with the international community if the country’s point of entry were in an obsolete state.


“We wish that the new minister of state for aviation will inspect the facilities and infrastructure at all the airports in the country,” he said.


Abioye urged Sirika to ensure the completion of the ongoing construction of new airport projects in the country as a matter of urgency.


According to him, the aviation minister should ensure stability and sustainability of the aviation industry as the industry still remains one of the engine rooms of the Nigerian economy.


He said more foreign direct investment (FDI) would come into the country if Nigeria should put necessary infrastructure in place in the aviation sector.


Abioye also called for the restructuring of the various aviation agencies and parastatals to enable them perform their statutory functions effectively.


He said, “As I speak, there are more support staff than the productive ones in the industry.


“This cuts across the parastatals and we need to look at a way to streamline this critical area for efficient delivery of aviation service to the airport users.”



Japan’s First Commercial Jet Makes Maiden Flight

Japan’s first commercial jet in 50 years made its maiden flight today, in a breakthrough for the country’s long-held ambition to establish an aircraft industry that can compete with some of the major players in global aviation.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) took off on a one-hour return flight from Nagoya Airport to test Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp’s ability to bring the 100-seat class plane into service after three years of delays.

The unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the World War Two-era Zero fighter, is hoping the $47-million regional jet will help it oust Canada’s Bombardier Inc as the world’s second-biggest maker of smaller passenger jets behind Brazil’s Embraer SA.

The MRJ is Japan’s first commercial passenger aircraft since the 64-seat YS-11 entered service 50 years ago.

The first MRJ is slated for delivery in June 2017 to Japan’s biggest carrier, ANA Holdings. Mitsubishi aims eventually to sell more than 2,000 aircraft in the competitive market segment.

So far it has secured 223 firm orders, most recently in January when Japan Airlines asked for 32 planes. The biggest single purchase, for 100 aircraft, was from U.S. regional airline operator Trans State Holdings.


Mitsubishi says the MRJ burns a fifth less fuel than aircraft of similar size, thanks to new-generation engines from Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
Japan’s last attempt to establish itself as a commercial aircraft maker ended in failure. Production of the YS-11, built by a consortium that included Mitsubishi Heavy, finished after only 182 planes were built.

That program however helped Mitsubishi Heavy and other companies forge ties with Boeing Co, turning them into major suppliers and partners of the U.S. aircraft maker and helping revive an aerospace industry that was dismantled after World War Two.

Those Japanese companies build 35 percent of Boeing’s advanced 787 carbon-composite jetliner, including the wings, the most complex part.

Japan’s biggest carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp, and largest trading company, Mitsubishi Corp, each own a 10 percent stake in the MRJ venture.

Source: Reuters

Meet Adebayo Ogunlesi The Nigerian Who Bought Gatwick Airport For £1.5 Billion

A Nigerian is reported to have acquired and now runs London Gatwick Airport. Adebayo Ogunlesi, 56, is the chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent investment fund based in New York City with worldwide stake in infrastructure assets, is the new owner of the London Gatwick Airport.

Adebayo Ogunlesi attended the prestigious King’s College, Lagos. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He was a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Yale School. Ogunlesi has lived in New York for 20 years and is active in volunteer work. But he also cultivates his ties to Africa. He informally advises the Nigerian government on privatisation.

Prior to his current role, he was executive vice chairman and chief client officer of Credit Suisse, based in New York. He previously served as a member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board and Management Council and chaired the Chairman’s Board. Previously, he was the Global Head of Investment Banking at Credit Suisse. Since joining Credit Suisse in 1983, Ogunlesi has advised clients on strategic transactions and financing in a broad range of industries and has worked on transactions in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Listen to how Ogunlesi sounds so refreshing in his interview prior to taking over at Gatwick airport. Pay attention to how he proposes to solve the problem of delays. This is a classic >> Watch Here

Source –  www.myafricanow.com

Malaysia Confirms Plane Debris Washed Up On Reunion Island Is From Flight MH370

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed that the wreckage found on Reunion Island last week belongs to the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing with 239 passengers and crew on board in March, 2014.

“The international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” he said in a televised statement

Below is the Prime Minister’s statement in full: On 8 March 2014, flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The days, weeks and months that followed have been a period of torment for the families of those on board.

The plane’s disappearance was without precedent. At every stage, we followed the tiny amount of evidence that existed. But, despite the efforts of 26 nations and the largest search in aviation history, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane could not be located. Neither could investigations by the world’s leading aviation experts answer why MH370 veered off course and went dark. While the plane’s disappearance remained a mystery, we have shared the anguish of those who could find no comfort.

Last week, on 29th July, we were informed by the French authorities that part of an aircraft wing had been found on Reunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean. Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370. We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organisations and individuals who have participated in the search.

London’s Heathrow Airport To Be Expanded, 800 Houses To Go

Heathrow airport is said to undergo a £19b expansion plan. This is needed for a 3rd runway at one of the busiest airports in Europe, a total of about 800 homes would also be demolished . the runway is the first new runway to be built in the South-East of England since the 1940s.

Notable ministers have concluded that the expansion is needed to keep London in connection to the rest of the world and keep Britain in competition with other global markets.

The airport authorities have earmarked about £1b as compensation to affected communities and individuals. There are also plans to reduce noise pollutions as the airport currently accommodates about 220,000 flights a year. At the completion of the runway they would have generated an additional 77,000 jobs.

Levi Ajuonuma’s Son Remembers Him Three Years After His Death

Obi Ajuonuma aka DJ Obiajent, the son of media personality and former Group General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Public Affairs Division, Levi Ajuonuma, who died in the Dana air crash that killed 153 passengers on June 3rd 2012, took to his Instagram page this morning to share some powerful words as he remembers his father who was deeply loved by many three years after the tragic accident. See what he wrote below…

Chidoka Advocates Private Sector-driven National Carrier

The Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka on Friday said a private sector-driven national carrier would be the best way forward for Nigeria.
Chidoka stated this when he spoke with newsmen during the official inauguration of the Pilot and International Protocol Lounge at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He said that he would share the idea with the major players in the industry, adding that the country needed flag carriers because of its strong domestic market.
“One of the things we are proposing is that Nigeria does indeed need flag carriers so to say because we are a country that has strong domestic market and have local airlines operating.
“We believe that national carrier that is private sector- driven will be the way to go for Nigeria and we are looking forward to that,’’ he said.
Chidoka said that the Federal Government was determined to end discrimination against Nigerian pilots by making sure that every airline operating in the country had at least a Nigerian pilot.
He said that the measure, which would take effect from June 1, would encourage Nigerian pilots and give them flight experience.
The minister said that the ministry had been working with the Ministry of Interior to ensure that before any airline could bring in foreign pilot, it must have employed a Nigerian pilot.

“Before any quota permission is given for a foreign pilot, the Ministry of Aviation must be contacted by the Ministry of Interior to give a no-objection.
“This is to be sure that such airline has fulfilled the obligation of employing a Nigerian pilot and also has a training plan to keep training Nigerian pilots.
“With that in place, we will then agree for them to bring in foreign pilots,’’ he said.
Chidoka said that all the projects initiated under the current administration were on course, adding that those yet to be completed would be completed by the incoming administration.
He said that the projects in the aviation sector were projects that would enhance the future of the industry, adding that anybody that had the interest of Nigeria would complete them.
“The completion time is still about 18 months away and I believe that the incoming government would put everything in process to complete them,’’ he said. (NAN)

Man Hilariously Narrates How He Was ‘Maltreated’ By Aero Contractors Staff

Lol, if only everyone can take their pains like this. I mean this is a real story but he still found humour in it. So nice… Please read below…

Me I had sworn that no matter how badly treated I was by a Nigerian Airline I won’t say anything. I will just be quiet and watch them disgrace themselves. So for years, I have been very silent with the rubbish they have been meting out on not only me but millions of Nigerians who unfortunately have to use them. From delayed flights, to outright cancellation.


From bumpy rides in rickety planes that have seen me peeing on myself and screaming Jesusssssssss, to smelly air hostess with dirty armpits who behave as if they are the best things since slice bread , in all these I have kept my peace and not said anything. I did not even talk when the whole Arik crew descended on my friend the Amiable Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and beat him silly simply because he asked why his seat was given out, I didn’t whimper o.

Maybe that is why, today they brought the fight to me. Me,Ajanaku, the Elephant, Aero people try me today. It all started when I got a text last night as usual postponing my morning flight in Abuja from 8.45am to 11.00am. The fact that I had an 11.0clock appointment that I had been chasing for years did not make me talk, the fact that the client had flown in from America and would be early for the meeting after flying for over 13 hours and me who had just 55minutes to fly would be late did not make me talk. So I took it all in my stride and slept off.

In the morning, I took my time and jumped into traffic and the usual Lagos traffic killed me. I arrived at their counter at exactly 10.30 for the flight and one very dirty Aero staff screamed at me with spittle gushing out of her mouth like a volcano erupting and throwing ash everywhere, ‘ we have closed the counter’ she screamed turning her back and showing me a split in her skirts. I smiled believing that this is NIGERIA and this is Ajanaku that I will surmount this challenge. I called out at her and in my smoothest Don Jazzy voice, I pleaded for help. She was livid, looked at me sternly and asked if I did not understand English, that it was over and gleefully told me that the next flight was for 5 o’clock in the evening.

At this time, my cool evaporated and I started begging. I pleaded as if my life depended on it and at this point about 6 of their lowliest paid staff, all with different kinds of body stench descended on me and telling me categorically that I had to leave and come back by 5pm. I begged and begged and begged all to no avail. I even told them that we all voted APC and that the change had come that they should please temper Justice with mercy. This served to only anger them the more as they immediately started mocking me and laughing at me. Guys, the most painful thing in all these, was the fact that they were still checking in other passengers o. Those with huge and plenty luggages where being given VIP treatment while me in all my Gucci Shoes and trousers was left stranded and being advised to either go to another airline the or should start trekking like all these people trekking for Buhari.

At this point someone in authority strolled in and decided to assist and then I knew what my sin was. He asked them to open the system to see if there was more seats, he stared at the system like the tyrant he was, with the power of life and death. He sent a signal to the Pilot, not to dare move that plane until he decided what to do and after staring at the system for what seemed like an eternity gave judgement, I should be upgraded to first class. I thanked him and prayed that God should bless his mistress and that his wife will never catch him, but as he was walking away, his leprous colleagues called him back and told him that I had complained about being delayed for four hours on my last trip and as such I did not see any reason why I could not board after just being late for 30 minutes.

My people, Emperor turned with all the dignity he could muster and gave instant judgement, no more seats and that was final. I stood there looking like a class clown. I could not believe this was happening to me. The circus midgets all immediately burst into imbecilic laughter and stuck out their tongues at me.

Out of frustration, I left them and went to the medview counter, where the Angels there gave me a seat on their 12 noon flight. I thanked them and paid but decided to go back to Aero counter to vent. My people, I for Kuku just go my way o. Na police dey wait for me o. The goons had called Police for me and you know police, na who first report na him get case. The bleached police man demanded for my phone and asked to go through my picture gallery that I had taken pictures of the Aero staff.

That’s how the man went through my phone, enjoyed himself with all the – you know the kind picture that will be there na- took his time and decided which ones he will delete and which ones he will keep and in all these the minions where still laughing and still checked people into a flight they had said was full an hour ago.

I thank God for the NCAA people who came to my assistance. Took me to their office took my complaints and calmed me down. They said they had been receiving series of complaints from harassed and humiliated passengers and will certainly do something this time.

So my people, Aero used to be my favorite airline, but with this kind of harassment and being treated like a thief I have left them and taken my wahala somewherelse. You can be sure, I will not miss their shitty service, I will not miss their cheap onboard flight, I will not miss the unpredictability of their services, I I’ll not miss their rickety planes, I will not miss having to ‘settle’ their poorly paid and under trained staff and I will certainly won’t have to kneel down and beg to be boarded simply because I mistakenly mentioned that if they could delay me for four hours, they should be a little bit more tolerant with my 30minute lateness, even though the flight was still on ground and checking in was still ongoing.

As I write, I am headed to the Airport with my heart in my mouth. One of the goons had threatened to cancel my return ticket and that I will never fly Aero. I asked him if his father was Ibru that he should try it. My people maybe I should join the Trekkers.

FG Sacks Finance Director Of FAAN Over “Appointment Irregularities”

The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has sacked the finance director at airspace regulator, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Tochukwu Bede Uchendu, over allegations of irregularities associated with his appointment as well as granting unapproved waivers to the tune of N1 billion.

Mr Uchendu’s sack was made pursuant to a petition by the Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) dated March 23, and addressed to the office of the Head of Service.

The unions had alleged that he is a serving director in a company with ties interestingly, by the minister – Consumer Investment Limited – and therefore, “it is obvious that he may not be able to discharge his duties without fear or favor as he would have to contend with conflict of interests because of his ownership as a board member of Consumer Investment Limited, a company which the wife of the minister is also a serving director.”

His sack which was contained in a letter dated April 27, 2015, and signed by the director of Human Resources, A. A. Tsafe, for the minister of aviation. It reads in part:

“I wish to refer to our letter reference number FMA/FAAN/7090/T2/105 dated March 13, 2015, on the above subject and regretfully inform you that the letter is hereby withdrawn pending the conclusion of the necessary due process on the matter. When that is concluded, FAAN, the appropriate authority, will issue you with a formal letter of appointment.

“We regretfully inform you that the letter (his appointment letter) is hereby withdrawn pending the conclusion of the necessary due process on the matter,” the ministry stated.

The letter directs Mr Tochukwu Uchendu to vacate the office until an inquiry is carried out and a formal letter of appointment issued to him.

Credit – ekeekee.com

Arik Air Workers Arrested For Stealing Aircraft Fuel

The Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, on Monday said the ministry has arrested three Arik Air staff for stealing fuel from an aircraft.

Mr. Chidoka said on his official Facebook page that the trio of Blessing Dugbe, Samuel Asuquo and Isaac Ajakaiye were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, during a security patrol operation on Sunday at about around 3 a.m.

Mr. Chidoka said the trio were stealing Jet A1 fuel from Arik Air plane, with registration number: 5N-MID into six jerry cans for sales at cheaper price to other unsuspecting airline operators.

“A development that has capacity, to threaten safety and security of airplanes. Meanwhile, the three (3) suspects were handed over to the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB), AVSEC MMIA for further action,” Mr. Chidoka said.

He said in the aviation industry’s fight against corruption and security breaches, other chief security officers and heads of aviation security have been alerted and directed to intensify patrol and surveillance operations at various
airports across Nigeria.

He said considering the magnitude of the crime to the security and safety of airplanes, the chief security officer of the Lagos airport has been asked to ensure that the suspects are handed over to the airport police for adequate prosecution.

This is not the first time that Arik staff are accused of theft. Passengers have often lamented the loss of one item or the other aboard the airline’s flights.

In an exclusive report by this newspaper in June 2014, some passengers lamented how they lost items ranging from iPad, jewelleries, clothes to perfumes.

A passenger interviewed for that report complained that the lock on her luggage was broken aboard a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The airline is yet to officially comment on the latest incident.

Source – Premium times