Wetleases coming to Nigeria must have local pilot – Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has directed that henceforth all wetleases coming into Nigeria must have a Nigerian pilot seated on the jump seat with the foreign pilot.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Keyamo explained that reasons for the decision was to ease interaction between the passengers and cabin crews while on board.

He also directed NCAA to within the next 72 hours summon all pilot and crew operating wetleases in Nigeria for further briefing.

The directive is coming on the heels of recent incidents in the Aviation sector particularly the Wet Leases Abuja bound plane which found itself in Asaba, Delta state.

Keyamo said certain incidence that Nigerians has been concerned about in the aviation industry and as government we are sensitive to the public opinion, we will not close our eyes and ears to certain concern raised by people.

“My view has always being that if an incidents happen anywhere in our airports that is not an act of God then there is a failure of regulation somewhere. If you have a burst tire of an aircraft, you can’t give excuses, there is someone given the responsibility to check the tires before the plane takes off. So it is not an act of God.

“It is act of man that did not do his job. If the runway is not fit to land and the aircraft skids off the runway, it is the failure of regulatory that cleared that aircraft to land.

“If a plane takes off from Lagos and ends up in Asaba it the failure of the regulator who dispatched that plane. So if these things happen and we don’t see sanctions and I don’t call out people that are involved, then I have failed as a minister and that is why the heads of the agencies are here today and we need to review these incidence.

According to Keyamo, “I understand that NCAA issued a notice suspending the Wet leases of United Nigeria over the incidence. We are going to take concrete measures going forward to ensure that the incidence does not repeat themselves and if people are complices they must be brought to book because these involve the lives of Nigerians.

“There was no weather problem in Abuja yesterday it was a problem of a wetlease plane where the pilot and crew were all foreigners not Nigerians so they were not familiar with the Nigeria terrain.”

Keyamo further maintained that from the transcript we heard the tower kept asking the pilot, confirm again that you are going to Abuja not Asaba, the Pilot replied no, Asaba before they took off the tower asked again and it was the same response

“The NCAA must sanction the airline regulators who are negligent and made error of judgement withdrawing their licenses and blacklisting them.

“We have reviewed all the recent incidences and the report will be ready in 10 days time. We are not deft to the cries of Nigerians about delays and cancelled flight.

” The law is there and we are looking how to enforce those laws for compensation of Nigerians who bear the brunt on cancellation of flights and disrupting the activities,” he said.

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