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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1999, with among others, perform statutory responsibilities of ensuring regulation, monitoring and promotion of the safety, security, economic and reliability of air navigation oversight in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The Authority effectively commenced operations on 1st January 2000.
But prior to 1989, the regulations of the Civil aviation industry as well as provision of air traffic services were carried out by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Federal Ministry of Aviation. Sequel to the adoption of the National Policy on Civil Aviation of 1988 by the Federal Government, the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) was established under Decree 8 of 1990 as a Civil Aviation regulatory body which took over the function of CAD. This was in addition to the Nigerian Airports Authority (NAA) which had been earlier carved out of the CAD in 1976 to manage Nigerian Airports.
However, towards the end of 1995, the government undertook a landmark re-organisation of some government parastatals in the Aviation Industry and as a result, the FCAA was scrapped. New Directorates of Safety Regulation and Monitoring and Economic Regulatory and Monitoring were established in the Federal Ministry of Aviation to replace the safety and economic function of the defunct FCAA while Air Traffic Services and Aerotels Department were merged with the former NAA to form Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
In 1962, Nigeria joined International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the body responsible for setting standards of be international civil aviation activities and ensuring that States fulfill obligations provided in the convention on International Civil Aviation Organisation.
As a signatory to the ICAO Convention, it was thus required that every member-state should establish an autonomous state organisation to be named Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The body is to be vested with requisite mandate of ensuring strict compliance with Air Navigation Regulations promulgated by the State.
Consequently, in 1999 the Federal Military Government promulgated Decree 49 to establish what is to be known as the Nigeria Civil Aviation of Authority (NCAA) before the handing over to a democratically elected government on 29th of May 1999. However, effective operation of the Authority began in January 1, 2000.