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LAAC 25th Conference: Operators seek removal of expiry dates from AOCs

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Chairman of West Link Airlines Captain Ibrahim Mshelia has said that the Civil Aviation Act needs to be amended so that the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) has no expiry date unless suspended or revoked. In contrast, operations specifications only should have a biannual expiration date.

AOCs are currently reissued every two years, and the West Link boss thinks that this also increases expenses for the operators since AOCs are not as important as operations specifications.

Mshelia, who chaired the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) 25th Conference with the theme: Aviation in Nigeria: Management, Policy, and Regulation led the front-lines to canvass a change in the status quo where there is a blanket issuance procedure of AOC for big, small, or large operations

Considering the lopsidedness of the procurement procedures and the operational limitations of AOC holders in Nigeria, he said we should urgently amend our act and policy to empower our civil aviation and ease the certification process of our commercial operations. Over-valuing AOC is like over-valuing a village masquerade, which only occurs once every 5 years. It shouldn’t be this way. In this sense, operations specifications are the masquerade, not the certificates. I believe the speakers here today, and even the NCAA DG will agree with me in their subsequent remarks.

AOCs are being issued blanketly for small, medium, and large operations today, which is unhealthy. As a result of this system, the roles of other segments of operators who are also entitled to operate commercial operations, unfettered as guaranteed by ICAO, are unclear.

According to him, the current regulations embark on a one-size-fits-all policy that is harmful to growth.

According to him, ICAO has developed ICAO Checklists; small or medium-sized companies or large or medium-sized companies. Despite this, one checklist is used to certify all of our operators. To enforce the norms and ensure our aviation sector conforms with global standards, we should also ensure that we have the right personnel with the requisite experience to follow the policy to the letter and enforce it without favoritism or discrimination.

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” The ICAO has a model recommended in DOC 8335. CAAs are encouraged to use this scale. Nigeria needs to close that gap. This is a serious safety concern, similar to an unsafe aircraft or untrained crew taking to the skies.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TAL Helicopters, Engr. Femi Adeniji explained to the conference that in other countries, for example, the United States, AOCs are typically acquired for life unless such an airline encounters problems that cause it to be grounded for significant periods of time.

In his view, Nigeria could do the same, and NCAA regulations should be amended to reflect global developments.

According to him, operators must abandon a one-size-fits-all approach in the regulation if true progress is achieved.

Senator Smart Adeyemi, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, assured the players in the industry that Senate would pass the NCAR bill presently before the assembly as soon as possible.

According to him, the passage of the executive bill would further accelerate growth in the Nigerian aviation industry, adding that the National Assembly would do everything in its power to move the sector forward.

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