By Chinelo Obogo

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cracked down on private jet operators violating their permits by suspending the Permit for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCF) of three operators for conducting commercial flights. This enforcement comes after warnings were issued in March 2024.

In a statement, the Acting Director General, Capt. Chris Najomo said the deployment of inspectors to ramp up surveillance of private jet activity at Nigerian airports resulted in the grounding of no fewer than three private jet operators. These operators were found to be in violation of the terms of their PNCF, specifically annexure provisions and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2023.

Following the grounding of three operators, the NCAA DG also announced a comprehensive re-evaluation of all PNCF holders. This initiative, he said, is aimed at ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and will be completed by April 19th, 2024. To expedite the process, all PNCF holders have been directed to submit relevant documents to the Authority within the next 72 hours. Najomo said these actions demonstrate the NCAA’s commitment to sanitising the general aviation sector and prioritising passenger safety in Nigerian airspace.

The statement read: “This riot act is also directed at existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders, who utilize aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

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“It must be emphasised that only aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorized to be used in the provision of such charter services. Any of those AOC holders who wish to use the aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specification.”

The Authority however, urged the travelling public not to patronise any airline charter operator who does not hold a valid Air Operators Certificate issued by the NCAA, when they wish to procure charter operations services.

It asked ‘the legitimate players in the aviation industry to report the activity of such unscrupulous elements to the he authority promptly for necessary action’.

In March 2024, the NCAA had issued a stern warning to holders of the permit for non commercial flights, PNCF, against engaging in the carriage of passenger cargo or mail for hire and reward.