The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the December 2018 target, which was projected as the commencement date of operations for the proposed national carrier, was feasible.
The Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Mukhtar Usman, who confirmed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, said that much could still be achieved before the target date.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had recently declared that the much awaited carrier would commence operations in December and set up a task force comprising the DG NCAA and other aviation agencies’ heads to actualize the plan.
But, stakeholders in the aviation sector expressed doubt over the feasibility of the plan especially when the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) has not been granted six months to the target date.
According to the DG, the process of getting an AOC takes just 90 days once the prospective operator meets the requirement, adding that with six months to the target date, the process could be completed.
“The presence of the agencies inside the task force is to ensure that the right things are done, they are not midwifing in the real sense of the national carrier but they are guiding the process to ensure that it is done in line with the international standards and best practices in the area of safety, security and also comfort of the passengers.
“This time around, government says we should go and ensure that even before take-off that nothing is short circuited, process followed so that they can come to stay, start and stay,” he said.
Recall that Senator Sirika said the Airbus of France indicated had interest in partnering with the government on the proposed national carrier and the establishment of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the country.
He also stated that as part of its resolve to establish the new carrier, the Federal Government met with Boeing, an American aircraft manufacturing company, adding that the new national airline is expected to support vital sectors of Nigerian economy to catalyse economic growth and development.
By Oluwasegun Olakoyenikan…
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