The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has announced the suspension of all ASky Airline operations to Nigeria.
A statement by NCAA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, said the suspension took immediate effect.
It quoted its Acting Director-General, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka, as saying this announcement this at the NCAA headquarters on Monday.
He explained that the regulatory authority had to take this action to protect Nigerians from the deadly Ebola virus which has beem ravaging some parts of East and Central Africa.
ASky Airline is an important player in the West, East and Central Africa operating 80 flights into Lagos and Abuja weekly.
The Airline flew the Liberian who was obviously infected with the virus, into Lagos, Nigeria which has created panic and diverted world attention to Nigeria.
The NCAA DG said, “The passenger has since died and the Country Manager of ASky was invited to the Aviation House to offer explanation to the Authority on the incident and show evidence of actions taken by the airline since the pandemic in their core areas of operation and after.
“The Airline representative could not offer any conclusive or substantial evidence neither did he demonstrate any capacity to be able to prevent a re-occurrence or possibly ship loading Ebola victims to Nigeria.
“This is contrary to the provision of Article 14 of the Chicago Convention,1944, which states that “Each contracting State agrees to take effective measures to prevent the spread by means of air navigation, of cholera, typhus (epidemic),smallpox, yellow fever, plague and such other communicable diseases as the contracting state shall from time to time decide to designate.”
Adeliyeka added that the International Civil Aviation Organisation has similarly prescribed measures (Standard Practices) in Annex 9 to the Convention which a state must take to prevent the spread of communicable disease in the event of an outbreak.
“The Acting Director General and the top management of NCAA therefore decided that the lives of millions of Nigerians were too precious to be risked on a platter of negligence of an airline.
“The Airline operations was therefore suspended with immediate effect until it is able to sufficiently and evidently prove that adequate machinery is in place to provide adequate screening of passengers in all their points of operation including profiling of each passenger,” it said.
The statement added that the Authority will also write to other airlines operating into and out of Nigeria to ensure they put in place all necessary preventive measures during screening of passengers which will include indicating countries earlier visited by the passengers.