NCAA extends licence validity, stops fresh approvals
•Operators seek digital procedure
In Lieu of the general disruption in aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has granted pilots, engineers, crew and other staff a three-month extension for the renewal of licences currently held.
Similarly, the apex regulatory body said no new application or on-going applications shall be processed during this period for AOC certificates, Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMOs), aircraft type certificate acceptance, aircraft registration and related, modifications and repairs, airworthiness certificates, and maintenance clearance certificates among others.
The development was contained in a letter to aviation industry stakeholders titled: “COVID-19 outbreak: Industry communication from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)”, signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu.
The agency advised all existing operators and owners intending to renew their approval certificates and C of A/MCC during this period must submit applications and proof of payment electronically to the relevant officials.
The letter further stated that no applications for extensions of maintenance intervals shall be considered during this period except for essential and emergency flights approved by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
In line with the development, inspections, checks, and audits paid for by clients are suspended until further notice.For validity of personnel licences, NCAA stated in the letter that no new aviation personnel licences will be processed or issued during the luck down period.
“All personnel whose licences are due to expire after April 1st can exercise the privileges of their licences for an extended period of up to 30th June 2020. This applies to pilots, air traffic controllers, cabin crew, aircraft maintenance engineer, flight dispatcher, aeronautical station operator, air traffic safety electronics personnel and designated examiners. Medical certificates will be extended for a period of up to 30th June 2020,” the letter read in part.
In reaction, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), expressed appreciation to the Director-General of the NCAA, describing the move as a “kind consideration”.
The Federal Government lately restricted all local and international flights as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease spread – a move that has put the airlines in financial distress. Only essential flights, which include cargo services, emergency landing and evacuation among others, were allowed though subject to approval of the Minister of Aviation.
Chairman of the AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, appealed to the NCAA boss to give priorities to the backlogs and also simplify by digitalising the processes for approval to modern day technology.
Meggison said: “With regards to the suspension in processing of new certificates and licences, we understand the need for the authority to scale down its manpower in line with the skeletal operations of other CAA worldwide as verification and coordination have proven difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to maintain social distance.
“On return to full operations, we kindly appeal that you give priorities to the backlogs and also simplify by digitalising the processes for approval to modern day technology. We acknowledge the proactive changes you are bringing into the CAA and we hope this will be sustained during your tenure.”