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Aviation

UK regulator reports Air Peace over alleged safety violation

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The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority has written Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority stating Air Peace has reportedly violated some aviation safety regulations

The development came barely three months after the Nigerian carrier commenced the Lagos-London route.

Two mandatory occurrence reports on Air Peace had been reportedly sent to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority.

The UK CAA, in turn, forwarded the complaints to the NCAA.

The CAA’s letter of complaint forwarded to NCAA was entitled; ‘United  Kingdom SAFA Ramp Inspection Report with reference number: CAA-UK, -2024-0217’ and ‘NATS Management System  Safety Report.’

The NCAA has also written to Air Peace to provide clarification on the issues.

The letter, with reference number: NCAA/DOLTS/APL/Vol.11/03624 was titled, “United Kingdom SAFA Ramp Inspection Report.

In the letter, the NCAA said the UK CAA had called its attention to the no operational approval of Electronic Flight Bag functions affecting the safe operation of the aircraft, while adding that the captain of the flight admitted that an Electronic Flight Bag was being used for navigational purposes.

NCAA further noted that the CAA stated in its letter that there was “no mounting device for the use of EFB, no charging points or battery for backup.”

Air Peace recently commenced operation to London Gatwick from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos under the Bilateral Air Services Agreement, which Nigeria has with the UK.

The spokesperson of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, could not be reached as of press time.

When called, the spokesperson of the airline picked but when this reporter began to enquire about the development, he kept mute until the call ended.

Our correspondent also sent a text message of enquiry to the spokesman but there was no response as of the time of filing this report

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1 Comment

  1. Temporary Email Services

    May 20, 2024 at 11:28 pm

    Very well presented. Every quote was awesome and thanks for sharing the content. Keep sharing and keep motivating others.

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Aviation

FAAN, NCAT resolve N5.2bn aircraft fire simulator crisis

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Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku has intervened to resolve the Boeing 737-NG aircraft fire simulator dispute. The federal government acquired this simulator in 2019 and installed it at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).

After a meeting in Lagos, FAAN’s top management, NCAT’s Rector/CEO Mr. Joseph Imalighwe, and NAFSA leaders reached an agreement. FAAN and NCAT will share revenue and liabilities on the simulator. Additionally, FAAN will leverage its network to attract foreign trainees to use the facility and raise revenue for both organisations.

The Multi-Purpose Aircraft Fire Simulator, situated at the NCAT Campus in Zaria, offers various practical firefighting and rescue scenarios. The previous administration acquired the simulator in 2019 for N5.2 billion to save Nigeria billions in foreign training costs.

Speaking on the development, Kuku stated, “We are happy to have finally come to this agreement between sister organisations in the interest of the safety of our passengers and improving the competence of our brave firefighters.

“This will improve our image globally and attract revenue that both organisations need. As I have always said, safety will always take priority in everything we do at FAAN, and this is a demonstration of that.”

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority had promised NAFSA a speedy certification of the fire simulator so the equipment can be put to full use.

This resolution of the aircraft fire simulator dispute demonstrates FAAN’s commitment to safety and improving the skills of aviation firefighters. By resolving the dispute and sharing resources, FAAN and NCAT aim to enhance training capabilities and stabilise finances.

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Aviation

Amid economic challenges, SAHCO posts N16.5bn revenue growth

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…Reports 39.13% increase

By Seun Ibiyemi

Despite major economic challenges in Q1 2023, Skyway Aviation Handling Company announced N16.5 billion in revenue, evidencing Skyway Aviation revenue growth. This significant achievement has boosted the company’s gross profit to N8.2 billion, up from N11.1 billion revenue in 2022.

Comparatively, this performance marks a 39.13 percent increase in revenue from 2022, when the gross profit was N4.3 billion. Chairman of Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, owners of SAHCO, shared this impressive financial rundown at the company’s Annual General Meeting today.

He also revealed that the company’s asset base now stands at N34 billion, a 15.19 percent rise from N29.2 billion in 2022.

Moreover, SAHCO shareholders passed numerous resolutions, including the approval for the Board of Directors to pay a recommended 30 kobo dividend per share of 1,353,580,000 ordinary shares, amounting to N406,074,000. This exceeds the 16.5 kobo per share of N223,340,700 paid in 2022. Dr. Afolabi emphasised SAHCO’s robust financial performance, showcasing its inclusive strategy for sustained growth and profitability amid economic challenges.

Encouraging the board, stakeholders offered various advice on debt recovery, improved staff remuneration, and business diversification to strengthen the company. Reacting to journalists on the sidelines, Dr. Afolabi disclosed that airlines’ debt with SAHCO stood at an estimated N6 billion, with a dedicated team set up to recover these funds.

“Our airlines’ clients’ debts are roughly estimated at N6 billion. We have set up a committee for that purpose. Clients tend to owe, but we are not allowing it to affect our profitability. We just have to set up a committee that is looking into that, and they are doing wonderfully well. Now, they are recovering. We believe within a short period, within 3-6 months, we will recover all the debts outside,” said Dr. Afolabi.

Meanwhile, Dr. Afolabi highlighted that the company is diversifying with new ventures such as Sifax SAHCO Travels and a helicopter leasing company.

“We are diversifying and looking at other ventures that we believe will add value. As I speak, we are exploring helicopter leasing to support and grow the company’s profitability. We are doing a lot, so it’s not something we achieve in a day. Our parent company is diversified into many sectors like aviation, maritime, financial services, and oil and gas. Our main goal is to increase and sustain profitability,” he added.

In conclusion, SAHCO’s financial resilience and strategic diversification highlight its commitment to sustained growth and profitability despite economic headwinds.

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Aviation

Airline Operators reject helicopter landing, take-off fee

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has rejected the decision of the Federal Government to impose landing and take-off charges on helicopter operations in the country especially, on oil platforms.

It also rejected the appointment of a private firm, Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited, as special purpose vehicle for the collection of the charges.

Making its position on the contentious issue known on Thursday in a press release titled “AON’s Position on the Helicopter Landing and Take-Off Fee,” signed by its Spokesman, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo and made available to journalists, Thursday, the association said agencies of the federal government do not provide any special services to oil platforms to warrant the charges.

The association noted that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), does not provide any additional service to helicopter operators to justify the imposition of the fee at all helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs, etc. in Nigeria.

Among reasons given for the objection, AON said, “The approval and imposition of the helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee at private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs etc. when no service is provided at those locations to the helicopter operators by NAMA is contrary to the provision of Section 7 (1) (r) of the then applicable NAMA Act as well as to section 1, paragraph 2 (1) of ICAO Document 9082.”

“NAMA did not adhere to the policies, principles and guidelines contained in ICAO Documents 9082 (ICAO’s Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services) and 9161 (Manual on Air Navigation Services Economics) before imposing the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (e) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations require NAMA to adhere to the policies, principles and guidelines contained in those documents.

“NAMA did not obtain the approval of NCAA before imposing the new fee/charge/levy. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (b) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations require NAMA to obtain the approval of NCAA before imposing any new charges and fees for its services.

 ”NCAA has the statutory power to regulate the charges that may be made in respect of air traffic control and for the use of aerodromes and for services provided at such aerodromes.

“NAMA did not consult the helicopter operators and other stakeholders before imposing the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee. Part 18, section 18.8.1.1 (d) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations require NAMA to adhere to the principles and procedures of consultation with users, cost-relatedness, non-discrimination and transparency in the application of charges and fees.

“Contrary to the Ministry’s Press Release of 13th May, 2024, neither NCAA nor FAAN is a party to the MoU between NAMA and Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of the Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee at private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs etc., as those Agencies had made it clear that they have no legal framework or justification to impose such fee.

“The Fee is charged and demanded for in US Dollars contrary to the provision of section 15 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which is clear that the unit of currency in Nigeria shall be the Naira.

“There is nowhere in the world where the Air Navigation Service Provider does not provide any service to helicopter operators but charges landing and take-off fee for landings and take—off on and from private helipads, oil rig platforms, FSPOs, FSOs, etc.”

The examples given by the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development in the Press Release of 13th May 2024 of where landing and take-off fee is paid are all of airports.

“The engagement of Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited did not follow due process as it did not comply with the requirements of the Public Procurement Act for the procurement of the services of consultants.”

AON said that it had at a meeting held recently with the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, made its position on the helicopter landing and take-off fee known.

According to the Association, “This led to the temporary suspension of the collection of the fee and the setting up of a committee to look into the issues raised by the AON and other stakeholders.”

Commending the Minister, “For giving a listening ear to our position on the matter and for his great leadership of the aviation industry and support for the growth and sustainability of Nigerian air operators,” AON also faulted the appointment of a private firm as collector of the fees stating that the appointment was not transparently done by “a former aviation minister.”

Tracing the controversy behind the appointment of Naebi Dynamic Concepts as fee collector, AON recalled that “this matter began in 2018 when Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited proposed the introduction of this so-called “Helicopter Landing and Take-off Fee” to the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who forwarded the proposal to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for comment.

“NCAA made it clear that there was neither legal framework nor legal justification for it to introduce such fee, and that aside certification of helipads, most of which are privately-owned, and for which it charged certification fee, it did not provide any service to helicopter operators that would justify the imposition of such fee.

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) which manages airports also had neither legal framework nor justification to impose such a charge on helicopter landing and take-off other than at its airports, which helicopter operators pay just like other aircraft operators in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), one of whose functions under the NAMA Act is to provide the navigation services necessary for the operation of aircraft taking off and landing and integrate them into the overall air traffic within the Nigerian airspace, did not charge helicopter landing and take-off fee for helicopter landings on and take-off from, oil rig platforms, FSPOs and private helipads, because it did not provide any service in respect thereto to the operators.

“Section 7(1) (r) of the NAMA Act which was in force at the time is clear that NAMA shall charge fees only for the services provided by the Agency, and helicopter operators pay the air navigation charges as generated on monthly basis, just like every other aircraft operator in Nigeria. Also, ICAO Document 9082 permit the imposition of charges only for services provided and functions performed for civil aviation operations.

“Despite the absence of any legal framework and justification for its imposition, and despite being so advised by the agencies, the former Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development approved the proposal for collection of Landing and Take-off Fee for all helicopters landing and taking off on and from oil fields/terminals/platforms/rigs/FPSOs, etc. and conveyed his approval for NAMA to engage and collaborate with Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of the fee/charge/levy.

“Consequent upon the approval and engagement, Naebi Dynamic Concepts Limited has been demanding payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars from already overcharged helicopter operators as Landing/Take-off Fee for landing on and taking off from oil rig platforms and private helipads without providing any service whatsoever to the operators.”

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