Reps Order Aviation Authority To Submit List Of All Private Jets In Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Tuesday ordered federal aviation authorities to immediately submit a comprehensive list of all private jets in Nigeria, at a hearing on the controversial grounding of a Rivers State-owned aircraft.

A House Joint Committee on Justice and Aviation agreed that the list, which must contain identification of all private jets in the country, names of owners, agents, expiration dates of clearances and licences and other vital data, be made available in two days.

“Let us have a register of titles of all registered private aircraft in Nigeria including those on ad-hoc basis. If anyone is confidential, indicate so,” the Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Ali Ahmad, said.

The order came after the lawmakers listened to conflicting testimonies from federal government officials, including the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, and Rivers State officials, led by the Secretary to the State Government, George Feyii.

The federal government stuck to its position that the Rivers State government had not established its ownership of the aircraft, since the plane was registered in the name of a U.S. bank.

Again, Rivers State’s claim that Caverton Helicopters was in charge of its interest in the aircraft, requesting and securing necessary clearances, was denied by the helicopter firm.

Caverton agreed it was in partnership with the state initially, but said the cooperation ended since August 2012.

Rivers State has claimed the purchase and operational plan agreement it entered into with the Utah bank and Caverton, which the government has cited as reason for banning the plane, was common with other owners of private jets in the country.

The House of Representatives hearing follows the controversial grounding of the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s private jet due to the “status of the controversial aircraft” by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) last month.

The NCAA had said the aircraft is “operating illegally in the country.”

The Rivers State government, however, claimed the plane was grounded over “vague issues” saying the governor’s pilot had filed all the right papers.

Understanding Nigeria Aviation Reforms

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, said on Wednesday that the aviation industry is anticipating a passenger volume of 15 to 20 million by the year 2020.

The Minister said Nigeria, after China and Japan, ranked in terms of passenger volume and is expected to keep growing at a rate of nine to 10 per cent annually.

Ms. Oduah said that aviation policies must be tailored to address the contemporary socio-economic development of the government; adding that the revised National Civil Aviation Policy, NCAP, would be responsive and adaptable to new safety, security and technology dynamics of the global aviation industry.

She said this included the strengthening of the existing regulatory framework and facilitating the growth of domestic airlines, the setting up of the National Carrier, and the development of aerotropoli.

In this interview on Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, the Director Airworthiness Standards in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka and a Development Consultant, Emeka Okengwu examine the impact of the aviation reforms on the Nigerian economy.

Private Jet Owners Can Airlift Friends, Associates – MD NAMA

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh on Tuesday refuted recent media reports that private jet owners cannot carry their friends and associates in their aircraft.

Mr Udoh, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said apart from their family members, private jet owners can carry their friends and associate as long as they meet some basic requirements.

He said, “That aircraft owner must have an operations department, who understand what the law of operations means. That aircraft owner must have an airworthiness certificate.”

The other requirements according to the NAMA boss are that the aircraft owner must have an insurance that protect him/her in case of an accident. The jet owner must also submit a manifest.

The long awaited National Civil Aviation Policy, 2013, which took the Federal Government over one year to prepare, was finally unveiled last Friday with severe rules for private jet owners in the country.

The policy barred individuals with private jets from carrying their friends and business associates on board the aircraft, stating that only members of their families are allowed aboard.

It states further that companies with private jets are permitted to carry only their employees or members of the Boards of Directors.

Moreover, the policy also directed that the identities of all passengers on-board any private jet must be made known through a manifest before air traffic control clearance will be sought.

It states, “Approval or clearance from the Director-General, NCAA, will not be required from Nigerians operating non-revenue flights with appropriate insurance policies in the following cases: “For private aircraft owned or leased by individuals, only the family members of the owner/lessee of the aircraft will be permitted on board as passengers; “For private aircraft owned or leased by companies or corporate entities, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company will be permitted on board as passengers.

“For aircraft belonging to non-scheduled or scheduled operators, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company or the corporation may be permitted on board as passengers; all operators will declare the identities of all passengers on non-revenue charter flights in the appropriate general declaration forms prior to obtaining ATC clearance.

“Nigerian carriers operating revenue passenger charter flights will be required to have a current non-scheduled or scheduled operator permit with operations manual that contains flight duty time limitations, which will be strictly monitored on regular basis.”