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Wasinmi airport unknown to us – NCAA-



Wasinmi airport unknown to us – NCAA

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, boss, Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, Tuesday, said the agency has no record in its files about a cargo or passenger Airport currently being constructed in Wasimi, Ogun State.

Nuhu said that NCAA only has record of Sagamu Cargo Airport.

He said: ” I was given the records of an approval issued in 2008 on behalf of the Honourable Minister for the establishment of an Ogun State Cargo Airport in Sagamu. Further more, I saw some documents in which the NCAA had interacted with them on that Airport.

When asked whether NCAA has any record giving approval for the establishment of Wasimi Cargo Airport, Nuhu said: “I asked and I was told that there is no such document with NCAA.”

The NCAA DG however admitted that he knows of no law that forbids a state from operating two cargo airports.

“It is not in our purview to determine for a state or any entity the number of airports they want to have. All we will do is to ensure that any airport built must comply with our regulatory requirements. That is our function,” Nuhu said.

Responding to a question whether he knows anything about the Wasimi Cargo Airport Project, Nuhu said: “I have seen an approval from the Ministry of Aviation for Wasimi Project. But in my records or in NCAA, I don’t have anything.”

Senate Committee on Aviation also backed the decision of the Director General of the NCAA, Nuhu, to ground Azman Airline over alleged safety concerns.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, spoke during an interactive session with the NCAA DG in Abuja.

This happened as the NCAA denied any knowledge of Wasimi Cargo Airport currently being constructed in Ogun State.

Adeyemi said it was better that the NCAA was proactive in its decision rather than waiting for any air disaster to happen before taking the required action.

The grounding of the Azman Airline had generated controversy which warranted the Senate panel to intervene by summoning Captain Nuhu to brief it on the development.

Nuhu told the Committee that the airline was grounded over observed problems with damaged types, broken hydraulic pipes and damage to the hydraulic reservoir of its aircraft.

He said that the airline continued to operate the particular aircraft even after officials of the NCAA pointed out the observed anomaly.

He said the agency took the action to prevent any air mishap that could have resulted from any faulty parts of the aircraft.

Nuhu said: “I don’t like judging people because I am not there and I don’t have the details. As a professional pilot, I think every pilot will take decision based on the information available to him. At the end of the day, it may be the wrong decision but nobody will intentionally make a wrong decision.

“They keep having issues relating to same issue with similar facts and we tend to have issue with their maintenance of that particular part.

“To be honest, it would be irresponsible and criminal negligence on our own part not to take any action. I have grounding any airline. It means a loss of money for the operating.

“It is going to cause inconvenience for a lot of people. But I rather inconvenience people than be here explaining a different thing because God forbid, if anything happens, in the whole of this room, I would be the only person here sweating.

“I would be the only person you would hold responsible. It would be criminal or otherwise not to take action. Our action is not to kill the airline.

“Our action is to work with the airline to see what the problems are and resolve them so that they can become a safe airline where we can recommend people to comfortably fly with them. About what caused these problems I can guess but I don’t know.”

In his response, Adeyemi commended the NCAA DG for being proactive to prevent a potential air accident.

Adeyemi said: “To me, I think we should thank you for being proactive because the particular airline you grounded was the airline of the President of the operators.

“But for me the step you have taken might be a bit tough but at least it is better than what may have happened. You deserve our commendation. We are happy that you have properly briefed us and we want to urge you to continue.

“Finally we want to call on the Federal Government to give more support to the aviation sector. There were palliatives that came after the press conference we had but it is not just good enough.

“There is still need take more steps to support the industry. Once the roads are not safe, then we must take the pains to encourage more people to fly. To me, aviation is critical to our socio-economic stability.”

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