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“We are fully prepared for ICAO audits- NCAA

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it is fully ready for the international civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA), slated for the first quarter of 2022.

Mr Lulu Vongtau, Asistant General Manager, Air Transport, Kaduna Regional Office of the NCAA, representing the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said this at the opening of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents (LAAC) training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) on Monday in Zaria.

Nuhu said the agency was prepared for the impending audits on the heels of proactive measures and existing regime of robust regulations.

“Over eight years of zero accident in commercial flight operation, we are primed to excel again.”

The DG, however, appealed to all stakeholders including the media to join hands in ensuring a successful audit next year.

“From now on, all your reports are very sensitive. Let us eschew sensationalism capable of putting the nation in bad light.

” Therefore, I will advise anyone to endeavour to verify and confirm his or her stories before publishing, if in doubt.

“It is my view that your watchdog role plays a very important part in fostering stability in the industry.

” These balancing, developmental and promotional stories are the hallmark of a burgeoning aviation industry like ours.

” Let us present our aviation industry as the most improved that it is. There is no doubt that there is increased confidence in the sector as new airlines are coming in and existing operators are expanding their routes.

” Expectedly, our coast of surveillance programme and other oversight responsibilities as the regulator of the industry have increased correspondingly,” he added.

According to Nuhu, continuous human capacity development is one of my administration core values.

He also said: ” For us at the NCAA, we consider training (including initial, on-the-job and recurrent training) as a key component of aviation development in Nigeria.

” In actual fact, training and retraining is a capital project for us as it is critical to our operations as the country’s apex regulatory authority for civil aviation in Nigeria.

” Our personnel are exposed to appropriate trainings all over the world so as to maintain and enhance their competence.

“On the other hand, you will agree with me that the media is critical to the growth of global aviation.

“The press is the Fourth Estate of the Realm. In other words, the fourth arm of government.”

He reiterated that personnel qualification and training are one of the Critical Elements (CE) and associated components recognised by ICAO for an effective state aviation security oversight system.

He said the eight CEs encompass the whole spectrum of civil aviation security activities.

He added that consequently, it required and provided for training to the aviation industry on the implementation of applicable aviation security requirements.

“This is with a view to ensuring effective implementation of security-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in the Annexes to the Chicago convention.

In his remarks, Mr Segun Koiki, Chairman, LAAC, lauded the management of NCAA for organising the intensive training for aviation correspondents to broaden their knowledge and skills.

Koiki said that Nigeria’s aviation industry had since the beginning of 2021 commenced a reawakening with speed.

He said that more local airlines had received Air Operators’ Certificates (AOCs) from the NCAA, adding that the DG NCAA has said that over 10 AOCs are still being processed.

“Passenger traffic is picking up. The critical place of training in the sector has increased and by implication, created more opportunities for NCAT to harvest the ripe field of training adventures.

” There is no doubt that the volume of knowledge gathered from the training under this programme has significantly helped us as aviation media practitioners and journalists to disseminate aviation information.

” More professionally and accurately amidst technological advancements in application of safety, security, economics and regulation of the sector.

” I am confident that this year’s training will further empower us to play our role as the fourth estate of the realm and in advancing the course of the industry,” he said.

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