By Adekunle Williams /Solomon Asowata
Lagos (NAN) The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has handed a N32 million fine to FirstNation Airways for violating the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs).
The NCAA also fined one of the airline’s Pilots-In-Command (PIC) N1.5 million for breaching the safety regulations.
The authority made the disclosure in a statement by its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye, and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.
The statement said the Letter of Sanction conveying the penalties has been sent to the airline’s management.
It said the NCAA had carried out a Ramp Inspection on the airline’s Airbus A319 Aircraft with registration mark 5N-FNE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA).
According to the statement, it was discovered during the inspection that the PIC was not in personal possession of a current medical certificate, neither was it readily accessible’’.
“Consequent upon this, a Letter of Investigation was sent to the airline and the pilot.
“However, in their response, the pilot admitted violating NCARs, while the airline demonstrated lack of thorough knowledge of the requirements of the regulations,’’ the statement added.
It said the airline contravened the regulations by allowing a flight crew member to be rostered to operate a total of 16 scheduled flights between Nov. 2, 2016 and Nov. 8, 2016.
“These operations were carried out while his medical certificate had expired since on the Nov. 1, 2016, thereby rendering his Pilot License subsequently invalid from that date.
“In the light of these, the airline is hereby sanctioned in accordance with IS 1.3.3 (14), while the Pilot suffers similar fate in line with IS 1.3.3(11) (15) (e), in lieu of suspension under IS 1.3.3(11)(15)(a) of the Nig.CARs 2015.
“On this strength, the airline is required to pay a total sum of N32 million only, while the pilot will pay N1.5 million only, being moderate civil penalty for the violation,’’ the statement said.
According to the statement, the fine must be paid within seven days of receipt of the letter from the authority.
It said: “The NCAA therefore wishes to advise all airline operators to acquaint themselves properly with the NCARs to guide their operations as violation is viewed seriously.