Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA has said that pilots operating in Nigeria have not experienced issues concerning their mental fitness in carrying out their job.
Mr Samuel Adurogboye, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NCAA said that the common cases the regulatory authority handle concerning pilots state of health were eye sight issues, obesity and heart issues.
Based on this, the authority always carries out six-month interval medical test to all the pilots, including foreign pilots operating in the country.
Adurogboye stated that, “I am not aware of any mental unfitness issue, but I know of issues of eye sight, obesity and heart, these are common among pilots here. The healthiest people on earth are the pilots because they were tested the actual medical test at a six-month interval. Pilots who violated the rules and regulation of the authority have always been sanctioned’’, he said.
He explained that pilots who came into Nigeria to fly, no matter whatever country they graduated from, usually undergo the NCAA examination and given the NCAA licence to operate.
According to him, “we will give you certain things to read like the syllabus and timetable to go and study, then after the agreed time, normally three months, you come and do exam. If you pass, we give you our own licence. The licence from here does not qualify you to fly in the USA or South Africa, likewise those from other countries did not qualify you to fly here. You will then have to go to the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) to be train on language and other things because you will have to be communicating with our Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs)”.
The airline operator that employed the pilot or crew was not allowed to get involved during the medical examination of their pilot as NCAA encourages the airlines to do their own medical assessments of their pilots and submit their report to the regulatory authority for compares, he said.
Adurugboye explained further that, “we have a department on medical but the department does not handle mental fitness for pilots. If we start asking them to handle it, it will affect their operations and proficiency. Which means we will start going to manufacture tissue or files they want to use? We give that job to external source that has the laboratory, the expertise and has the experience to do it.’’
What applied to a Nigerian pilot also apply to a foreign pilot that chooses to fly in Nigeria, he added.

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