The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday reaffirmed the sanctity of the recently released statistical data on the aviation industry stating that they are verifiable and no amount of blackmail can derail the agency.

Controversies have continued to trail NCAA, since the regulatory agency announced that both domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets were worth N502.2 billion in 2017.

The first salvo came from a renowned member of the Aviation Round Table (ART) and chief executive officer of Centurion Securities, Capt. John Ojikutu who alleged that the federal government lost over N100 billion in Ticket Sales Charges (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charges (CSC) in the aviation sector between 2013 and 2017.

Ojikutu faulted the figures released by the NCAA on the airlines’ earnings and passenger traffic, claiming that it was being subjected to some sort of manipulations which needed to be investigated.

Reacting to the allegations, NCAA, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurgboye, advised stakeholders and the public to resist all attempts to create confusion and cast doubts on the figures, adding that this is clearly a result of crass ignorance and the purveyors being too clever by half.

The statement stated that the process of generating data is as stipulated in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 18.12.5, stressing that “all domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the Authority through an electronic platform provided by the Authority, all relevant documents such as flown coupons, passenger or cargo manifests, air waybills, load sheets, clients’ service invoices and other documents necessary for accurate billing within forty-eight (48) hours after each flight.”

In addition, as part of the billing requirements, the Authority said it collects billable data from airlines, photocopy of flown coupons and Post Departure Manifest (PDM) of international flight operations, emphasizing that all these are International Air Transport Association (IATA) documents which NCAA cannot influence.

“The Flown Coupons contain specific information required by IATA before billings are done and issued. These are Ticket Number, Name of Passenger, Ticket Sales Charge (NG), etc. It is noteworthy that the prerequisite NCAA five per cent TSC paid by passengers is indicated on the ticket. These data are warehoused by NCAA and can be verified,” NCAA said.

The agency in a statement said the domestic billing process requires the airline to submit to the Authority its Passenger Departure Manifest (PDM) immediately after every flight departure and that it is from the filed fares that five per cent TSC is calculated.