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Association wants NCAA to intensify surveillance on operators, airlines

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Aviation

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to redouble its surveillance on airlines operating in the country.

The President, NAAPE, Mr Abednego Galadima, made this known in a communique issued to newsmen in Lagos on Saturday.

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Galadima said the surveillance became necessary to ensure operators employ sufficient number of qualified pilots and engineers to operate and maintain their aircraft fleets without compromising safety.

He noted that there were reports that several aircraft operators do not have sufficient number of qualified and experienced technical personnel to operate and maintain their aircraft fleets.

According to him, consequently the available technical personnel are over-worked, with the safety implication that several errors arising from fatigue could set in.

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Galadima said NAAPE was concerned about this development, and hereby strongly advise the NCAA to intensify its surveillance on operators.

The association’s president noted that in the interest of safety, NAAPE advised the authority to put adequate measures in place to stop sector payment of pilots by airlines and other aircraft operators.

He said: “Several airlines and aircraft operators are in the habit of paying their pilots based on the sector payment methodology.

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“Sector payment to pilots, which is calculated based on the number of successful flights a pilot performs on daily basis, has been perceived to have very grave safety implications.

“For the purpose of earning more money, pilots could be negatively induced to attempt flying when an aircraft is unserviceable or when they are not medically fit to fly.

“Others are when they are under intense pressure, when there are unfavourable weather conditions that may endanger flight, and to fly beyond the maximum hours stipulated by Nig.CARs 8.12.1.4.”

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Galadima said the association called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to double its efforts towards reducing the numbers of birds/birdstrike incidents on their airports.

He said NAAPE observed from recent happenings that incidents of bird strikes within the vicinity of their airports had continued to increase.

The president noted that bird-strikes pose serious threats to aircraft as they could lead to serious structural damage to aircraft components and it often happen during critical phases of flight such as take-off and landing.

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“This problem has also increased the running-costs of airlines and aircraft operators as huge sums of money are often expended in order to rectify these defects.

“Also, there are reports that bird strikes have been found growing along the runway shoulder in some airports,” he regretted.

Galadima said if this was not controlled on time, those runways may become contaminated and this might adversely affect the braking capabilities of an aircraft which could lead to run-way excursions.

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