The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the proposed December take off of the national carrier, Nigeria Air, was still feasible as it could still issue necessary operational certificates before the end of the year.
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Muktar Usman, disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to Usman, NCAA would deliver the Air Transport Licence (ATL) and the Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC) to the carrier in the next 90 days to enable it commence operation.
The Airline Transport Licence (ATL) also referred to as Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) is the highest license one can earn as a civil airplane pilot.
The Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), on the other hand, is the approval granted by a nation’s aviation authority to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes.
The NCAA boss assured that the government was leaving no stone unturned to ensuring the airline successfully take off at the stipulated time, adding that the government would not relent on its efforts to meet the deadline.
“We still have more than 90 days to the end of the year, so, it is still feasible, all things being equal. I am just talking from the regulatory point of view.
“The government intention about the takeoff of Nigeria Air is to get the best for the flying public because Nigerians have been yearning for a strong and viable carrier.
“We want a carrier that will meet the demands and potential of the domestic market, the regional market and the international market,” he said.
Nigeria is planning to set up a new national carrier about fifteen years after the old Nigeria Airways ceased operations in the country.
On July 18, the Nigerian government through the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had officially unveiled the name and logo of the country’s new carrier at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London, United Kingdom.
According to the minister, the new national airline would be private sector-led and driven through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, with the government owning not more than five percent equity and zero interference.