An aviation union leader said in Lagos on Friday that the age of an aircraft was no barrier to its service efficiency.
Mr Benjamin Okewu, National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, made the statement at a news conference.
``The aviation industry has a system of checks and balances of maintenance for aircraft since most parts of the aircraft have what is called service lifespan.
`` Every part after the expiration of the lifespan is changed and when we change those parts in the aircraft, it is assumed that such an aircraft is good, ’’ Okewu said.
He said that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had never banned an aircraft anywhere because of old age.
He said, however, that many countries had domesticated their own laws to ban specific kinds of aircraft in their airspace.
``The BAC-11aircraft that was banned in Nigeria is still flying in other parts of the world, ’’ Okewu said.
He assured air passengers that the Nigerian airspace was safe, adding that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had enough inspectors to check the status of any aircraft.
He debunked claims that pilots were cutting corners by not reporting developments in aircraft they flew to the engineers and NCAA.
``It would be a sin and a stain on the integrity of a pilot not to log safety issues in the log book for the air traffic controllers and engineers to know and rectify,’’ Okewu said.
He said that efforts were being made to ensure that all the airlines formed a union to intervene when their workers had problems.
Mr Ahmadu Ilitrus, the union’s Vice-President, urged airline operators to always grant more rest hours for their cabin crew to guard against human error in flights.