NCAA AT 20
NCAA AT 20.
BY: Johnson Remi Adekola
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority was established at the twilight of the Military regime in Nigeria by Decree 49 of 1999 which later became Act 49 upon the commencement of Civil Administration.The statutory responsibilities amongst others of the Authority included ensuring the regulation, monitoring and promotion of safety,security,economic and reliable air navigation oversight in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) standard and recommended practices(SARPS).The Authority effectively commenced operation on the 1st of January,2000.
Upon the conditions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) requiring member states to establish an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority and the clamour by Aviation stakeholders in Nigeria, the then Federal Military Government enacted Decree 49 of 1999 establishing NCAA.
The Authority upon commencement of operation on 1st January,2000,was programmed to operate as an International Organisation and this reflected in the recruitment of qualified manpower, facility development and creation of five(5)regional offices in Lagos,Abuja,Kano,Kaduna and Port harcourt. This was reduced to four(4) in subsequent years with Lagos becoming the Operational Headquarters of the Authority.
Pointedly, several milestones were recorded in the chequered history of the Authority from inception like having a lean organizational structure, competitive salary and conditions of service to attract the best in the industry, financial system to guarantee prudence and proper utilization of Internally Generated Revenue(IGR)since there was no Government funding, generation of revenue and other sources of funding with the technical Directorates ensuring proper oversight/licensing of Airlines and Aviation personnel and so on.
The first Management retreat of the Authority took place in 2000 and all staff both those from the Aviation Ministry, defunct Directorates of Safety Regulation and Monitoring and Economic Regulations, those seconded or had their services transferred from other established agencies and newly recruited staff were made to go through a reorientation programme where the vision and mission statements were created.The core values of the Authority revolve around total commitment to safety, fleet renewal, non -punitive reporting system, zero accidents, zero facilities and zero tolerance to violation of safety regulations.
Unfortunately, the industry recorded some low moments of air mishaps with fatalities in 2002,2005,2006 and 2012.These accidents put a lot of strain on the Authority and it’s activities.However,the Authority emerged from these unfortunate incidents stronger with zero fatalities on Commercial flight operation till date.
The Authority recorded other milestones including successfully passing the ICAO security follow up Audit of May 2006, the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit in November,2006,the American Transportation Administration(TSA) successfully carried out Security Audit of our International Airports and the American FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment(IASA) Category 1 on 23rd August,2010 which put Nigeria in the ‘Premier’ league of World Aviation.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) was able to certify two(2) International Airports of Lagos and Abuja on 18th September,2017 and 17th November,2017 respectively.This landmark makes Nigeria the first to certify two(2)Airports in Africa within two months of each other.
The Authority became autonomous with the passing into law of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006 by the National Assembly and assent of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Act not only empowered the Authority to regulate Aviation Safety without political interference but also to carry out oversight functions of Airports, Airspace, Meteorological as well as economic regulation of the industry.The Consumer Protection of Air travelers was subsequently added with the enactment of Part 19 of the Consumer Protection Regulations including Passengers rights and Airlines obligations. There is a move to now review the Civil Aviation Act 2006 with the submission of the Civil Aviation Bill 2019 to the National Assembly in view of new developments in the Aviation industry since the passage of the last Act.
This is to wish the Management and staff of the Authority Happy 20th Anniversary and to wish everyone safer skies.
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