Indigenous airlines operating in the country are to be audited by the Federal Government, to ensure a complete validation of all the airlines.
The government’s action is coming just weeks after a chartered Associated Airline plane crashed just minutes after take off from the Lagos Airport, killing 13 people.
It also came just days after an IRS Airline plane was forced to crash-land in Kaduna as a result of a technical fault.
Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, who announced the planned audit at a news conference to throw more light on the incident involving IRS Airline at the NCAA headquarters in Lagos on Monday said: “We are going to audit all the indigenous airlines, we have a continous process of auditing airlines.
“As a matter of fact, we are going to do a joint audit on all the airlines working with foreign audit firms.
“This is done to reassure the public of the safety of our airspace and to also continue the oversight functions of the NCAA. We intend to put in place regulations that would require all our airlines to have an International Air Transport Association Operational Safety audit. Many years ago, it was voluntary but this time we will make it compulsory.
Airlines would be required to have this as a way of going forward and ensuring that their systems are tidy.”
Shedding more light on the IRS incident, he said: “For the purpose of reinforcement, we wish to restate that the affected F100 aircraft operated by IRS landed safely at the Kaduna Airport, following a hydraulic alert in the cockpit while on final approach to the airport.”
Akinkuotu said preliminary report from the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau has thrown up some issues that would be addressed.
His words: “We have been calling on operators to abide by the laws, and we will continue to do so, because these operators also have responsibilities to fulfill to ensure that they continue to abide by the laws in ensuring total safety of passengers.”
The licence of Dana Airlines was suspended by the NCAA on October 6, 2013, insisting it took the action as a result of an operational audit, which it intended to carry out on the airline.
On the issue of the workers of some airlines not being paid their salaries, Akinkuotu said the issue was currently being addressed by the authority.
The Chairman IRS, Alhaji Ishaku Rabiu, commended the Federal Government and NCAA on the regulation of the activities of airline operators to make the industry better.
“It is important to know that we have been in this business for 12 years and have had no accident,” he said.