US threatens to bar Nigerian airlines from its airspace


The United States Federal Aviation Administr, FAA, has given Nigerian airlines a 65-day ultimatum to resolve specified security issues or risk being barred from flying to its country.

A team of US FAA officials who recently carried out an audit for the renewal of Nigeria’s category one safety status gave the ultimatum on August 24.

The US FAA periodically checks foreign airports with which it has bilateral agreements to ensure they meet set standards. The checks include having effective and efficient aviation regulations, operational state civil aviation systems and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.

Others include the provision of technical guidance, tools, provision of safety-critical information, licensing, certification, authorisation and approval obligations.

John Ojikutu, member of aviation industry think-tank, Aviation Round Table, ART, and CEO of Centurion Securities, said he doubts if Nigeria could attain the category one safety status without having its major airports certified.

Ojikutu also explained that airport certification was compliant to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, Part 12.6.4, which carries obligations on the operator to continuously maintain standards

The NCAA, in spite of its category one status classification in 2010 and even today in 2017 after its reclassification, has not been able to give certification to a single airport among the over 28 federal and state airports in the country.