As Nigerians anticipate operation of national carrier to serve their air travel needs, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Usman Muhtar has given December 24, 2018, as the commencement date.
Muhtar, who made the disclosure will responding to questions from journalist on Tuesday in Lagos, noted that the process for securing an Aircraft Operators Certificate is already in progress.
The aviation regulator chief observed that given the 90 days required to obtain the certificate if operator meets the requirements, the possibility of the national carrier completing the process was feasible within the time-frame.
Discussing the government plan to ensure it get it right this time, Muhtar noted FG move to involve aviation agencies’ heads in the task force set up to ensure the commencement of the airline.
“They are not midwifing it in the real sense of the national carrier, but they are guiding the process to ensure that it is done in line with international standards and best practices in the area of safety, security and also comfort of passengers,” Muhtar said.
On why previous airlines in the country seized operations after brief stint, the NCAA boss identified lack of adherence to guidelines, which he believed would not be the case in the yet to commence national carrier.
“This time around, the government says we should ensure that even before commencement, nothing is short-circuited and that the right process is followed.
“The NCAA guides operators when it comes to documentation and preparation of the manual, which we produce. If there are errors or corrections, the NCAA works to see that everything comes out clean.
“All these we did with all other airlines. So, it is not unusual that you find us in that task force,” he added.