Federal government has said that any aircraft registered for private use but engages in charter business within Nigeria will be fined $100,000 before such aircraft is released.
Minister of Aviation, Chief. Osita Chidoka who made this declaration in Abuja yesterday, ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation authority, NCAA to revoke the licenses, from March 1, 2015, of foreign registered privately-operated aircraft issued with NCAA licenses to operate within Nigeria strictly for private operation but engage in hire or reward.
“The aircraft operations will remain grounded, until the NCAA approves an alternative operational status for the aircraft” Chidoka said.
The Minister’s directives were part of the recommendations of a three-man Committee on Foreign Registered, Privately Operated Aircraft Operations in Nigeria; he set up two weeks ago.
Speaking while receiving the committee’s report in Abuja, the Minister said the Department of General Aviation of the NCAA will move into full operations to ensure that operators comply.
The Minister warned that he will neither authorize nor grant waivers to operators when the new policy comes to force.
“I want to use this opportunity to warn most of the operators of these private airlines, some of them are starting to engage in intimidation. Some are sending us threatening letters of what happened to previous ministers. I want to assure them that this minister will not be intimated…I will not bend the rules for anybody in Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the Committee and Senior Special Adviser to the President on Aviation Reform, SSAP, Capt. Victor Iriobe, noted that most non-commercial flight certificate holders engage in commercial charters, in contravention of Nigerian civil aviation regulations.
He said, their activities known globally as “grey market”, must be restricted through appropriate regulatory enforcements.
He added that management interference and poor inter-agencies cooperation were some of the series of systemic challenges the committee identified in NCAA and NAMA that hindered the enforcements of relevant regulations.
The aim of the committee was to investigate the operations of all foreign registered, privately owned aircraft issued with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA Flight Operations Clearance Certificate, FOCC and Maintenance Clearance Certificate, MCC operating commercial charters instead of their NCAA authorisation for private (not for hire or reward) operations within Nigeria, among others.

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