NCAA warns airlines over flight delays, cancellations
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned airlines to desist from incessant flight delays and cancellations as it declared zero tolerance for illegal practices.
The apex regulatory body observed that multiple flight cancellations and delays have become routine and a set-back to the industry.
It will be recalled that the NCAA recently put the rate of flight delays in 2017 at 64 per cent, with local airlines often the culprit than their foreign counterparts.
Rising from a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, NCAA urged the airlines to ensure realistic flight planning and schedule, even as regulatory agencies would address operational challenges facing on time departure.
Spokesperson of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the agency had lately been inundated by complaints from passengers over disregard for good customers’ experience.
Adurogboye said that the industry values its customers and had warned all airlines to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings.
He said passengers must get value for their money, hence, the NCAA will not restrain from applying sanctions where appropriate.
At the forum, attended by 13 international airlines, eight domestic airlines, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, the operators blamed inadequate fuel supply, airport infrastructure, traffic around the airports and unruly passengers for the multiple delays.
The management of the NCAA and FAAN in their response assured the operators that all these challenges will be tackled very soon, even as they emphasized that “delays and cancellations will not be acceptable.”
NCAA advised operators to always disseminate information to passengers on flight status and ensure they provide right care to passengers in times of delays and cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19.
It was also resolved that NCAA/FAAN will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Transport to replace fuel hydrants, if the old ones will cost a lot of money to be fixed and the supply points reconnected to the airports. Also, to liaise with the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to fix the underground pipeline layout from Apapa to Lagos airport, to minimise surface transportation of fuel.
Other resolutions are that: FAAN will beef up security to prevent unlawful interference and ensure that facilities like lightings, Closed-circuit Television, carousels and cooling systems and so on at the airports are functional.
FAAN Management should also ensure that action is expedited on the upgrade of lighting on Runway 18L/36R at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Airlines should make representatives available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force.
Airlines should always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties or service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19.
Airlines’ inputs should be considered in the design or construction of airports to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past.
Domestic airlines or operators should be encouraged to enter into interlining arrangements. And requests from stakeholders or airlines for the provision of 24 hours operations at daylight airports should be forwarded to FAAN, backed with economic realities on a sustainable level.