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NCAA vows crackdown on illegal private jet operators

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The Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Chris Najomo, has expressed concern over the illicit activities of illegal private jet operators in the country, labeling them as a ‘cartel’ that poses a serious threat to Nigeria’s aviation industry.

Najomo disclosed this to stakeholders in the aviation sector during a meeting in Lagos, where he emphasized the negative impact of these illegal operators on genuine and licensed charter operators.

In response to the challenges posed by such activities, the regulatory body is set to take decisive action by publishing the names of illegal operators and cautioning the Nigerian elite against flying on aircraft not duly registered with the NCAA.

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The concerns raised by Najomo come in the wake of an incident involving a Flint Aero aircraft, which crashed at Ibadan Airport in November while carrying the Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu.

The preliminary report by the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau revealed that the flight was operating illegally.

Highlighting the regulatory framework, Najomo pointed out that only holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) are authorized to conduct charter operations.

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He expressed concern that private jet owners often clandestinely engage in charter operations, violating Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 18.2.3.1.

Najomo issued a stern warning to the public, cautioning against transactions with unauthorized operators.

He emphasized that such operations may lack valid insurance coverage, posing a significant risk to passengers.

He stated, “Charter operators are no longer making money because owners of private jets are not duly registered for the operations they carry out, which are risky to the aviation industry. It is a cartel, and we are publishing their names and asking the Nigerian elite not to fly them.”

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Assuring strict compliance with safety regulations, Najomo underscored the seriousness with which safety violations would be addressed.

He stressed that illegal charter operations pose a severe safety hazard to the traveling public, and the regulatory body will aggressively work to identify and shut down rogue operators engaging in various forms of illegal charters.

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