Keyamo comes under pressure over Dana Air suspension

Reactions from stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry have continued to trail the decision of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to order the suspension of the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of Dana Air over an incident in Lagos Tuesday.

The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) Thursday expressed its disappointment with the actions of the minister and the ministry, affirming that it is contrary to law and process and to the promise of Mr Keyamo to respect both law and process, and to restore autonomy to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

It said: “The suspension of the entire operations of DANA Airlines directed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development runs against these principles and indicates a return to the ugly past that destroys confidence in the industry and by the global community on the principles of an autonomous industry regulator, representing a threat to safety, security in the sector generally.”

Similarly, the umbrella body of flight dispatchers in the country,

Flight Dispatchers Association of Nigeria, (FLIDAN) described the actions as punitive.

In a statement signed by its general secretary, Victoria Adegbe, FLIDAN explained that “ensuring continued airworthiness of an aircraft is the sole responsibility of NCAA and not the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace and as long as an Airline (AOC holder) can demonstrate that the aircraft is airworthy then it continues to fly.”

The ASRTI document, signed by Olumide Ohunayo, its general secretary said the body condemns the external interference demonstrated by the minister’s directive which serves to erode institutional autonomy and jeopardises safety in the aviation sector.

“ART hereby reiterates its commitment to the non-negotiable autonomy of the NCAA as stated in Section 4 (3) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act.

“The conduct of financial audits of airlines lies exclusively with the NCAA. The decisions on what are appropriate sanctions for violations also lie with the NCAA exclusively.”