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    Friday, July 5, 2024

    FG Suspends Licenses of 10 Private Jet Operators

    The Nigerian government has temporarily suspended the operations of ten private jet operators.

    The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced on Thursday that it has suspended the licenses of ten private jet companies for violating the agency’s regulations.

    The NCAA’s Public Affairs and Consumer Protection Director, Michael Achimugu, made the announcement in a statement posted on the agency’s official website.

    As per NCAA Regulations 2023 Part 18.3.4, individuals holding a Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) are prohibited from utilizing their aircraft for the transportation of passengers, cargo, or mail for any form of monetary compensation or commercial gain. This includes both commercial operations and charter services.

    Due to the blatant disregard for this regulation, the NCAA previously instructed all PNCF holders to undergo a reevaluation, which should have been completed by April 19.

    “To this end, the NCAA has suspended the PERMIT FOR NON COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS of Azikel Dredging Nigeria Ltd, Bli-Aviation Safety Services, Ferry Aviation Developments Ltd, Matrix Energy Ltd, Marrietta Management Services Ltd,.

    Worldwide Skypaths Services, Mattini Airline Services Ltd, Aero Lead Ltd, Sky Bird Air Ltd and Ezuma Jets Ltd,” the agency said.

    It is important to note that engaging PNCF holders for commercial purposes is a violation of the law, and the NCAA will take swift action against any PNCF holder found to be involved in such activities.

    “Furthermore, NCAA officials have been deployed to General Aviation Terminals (GAT) and private wings of the airports to monitor activities of the PNCF holders,” the agency said.

    In April, the NCAA suspended three private jet owners for engaging in commercial flight operations.

    At that time, the NCAA reported that the use of private jets for commercial purposes prompted the aviation minister, Festus Keyamo, to issue directives to cease such activities.

    “In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the Authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators. To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed a reevaluation of all holders of PNCF be carried out on or before the 19th of April 2024 to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements,” the NCAA acting Director, Chris Najomo, was quoted to have said.

    Mr Najomo said all “PNCF holders must submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours.”

    The aforementioned riot act was also directed at current Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilize aircraft listed on their Permit for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCF) for commercial charter operations.

    In the meantime, last month, Mr. Keyamo established an eight-member ministerial task force committee on “illicit private chartered operations and associated matters” to address alleged money laundering, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities by private jet operators in Nigeria.

    “To stem the practice of illegal chartered operations including illicit activities raising security and safety concerns culminating to significant financial losses to the Federal Government, Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, CON, FciArb. (UK), has inaugurated a Ministerial Task Force Committee on illegal private chartered operations and related matters,” the minister said.

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