BY YUSUF BABALOLA |
Private jet owners have continue to flout federal government’s directive banning privately registered aircraft from involving in commercial charter operation as the business still persist unchecked across the nation’s airports.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had in 2020 banned charter services with privately-registered aircraft thereby threatening to ground such aircraft when used for charter or revoke the operating licence of anyone that disobeyed the directive.
NCAA, in the circular, had said aircraft listed under OPS SPECS PART G (commercial wet lease) that is either in non-compliance or in violation of any part thereof of NCAR (Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation) Part 22.214.171.124(b) shall be grounded with effect from Monday 29, June, 2020 (today) at about 800Z (8a.m).
But, despite the warning from the apex regulatory agency in the aviation sector, privately registered aircraft still operate commercial charter operation across the country unabated.
Confirming the development when executive of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents (LAAC), paid a courtesy visit on the chairman, West Link Airlines, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia on Monday, he said government is losing huge revenue to the illegal act.
Mshelia queried why a private jet will take off from an airport three ro four times in a day if not involved in commercial charter operation.
According to him, “I can tell you that it is true because as a certified operator, I know most of the passengers who are regular, but there was a time some of them complained to me that I charge more, but they he had got it cheaper. One of them told me the name of the airline, but I told him that I don’t know which certified airline will charge you less than what I am charging you.
“If the airline is charging lesser, maybe it is not going to the market to buy the same fish I am selling. He might be buying the fish free and cooking the same pepper soup for you.”
Capt. Mshelia, however, urged the NCAA to engage the Department of State Service (DSS) to fish out private airlines involving in the act because of its implications on the economy.
“The fact is government should be more worried because it is losing a lot of revenues. I pay the 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC), even if I don’t have the cash with me, I owe it and I must pay it and I can’t jump it. But, those that are doing these sharp practices are not captured in the NCAA data. So, NCAA cannot go after them,” he stressed.