By Gboyega Oni
Thirty (30) foreign airlines, by 31st of December, 2018, may have their operations halted in Nigeria if they fail to comply with the federal government directives to all airlines to automate and integrate on the Avitech platform for easy collection of five percent of their Tickets Sales Charges/Cargo Sales Charges (TSC/CSC) into the coffers of government.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued an ultimatum to that effect and vowed to sanction them severely if they fail to meet the deadline.
It noted that the airlines have refused to comply with the Federal Government directives on Aviation Revenue Automation Project (ARAP) and abide by the provisions in the BASA between Nigeria and their respective countries in spite of regular meetings, reminder letters and follow-up by the organisation to the defaulting airlines.
The ultimatum, according to a press statement issued by NCAA in Lagos and signed by its General Manager of Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, was contained in a letter signed by the Director of Air Transport Regulation (DATR), Group Captain Edem Oyo-Ita that was addressed to the defaulting airlines.
‘’The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given 31st of December, 2018 deadline to all the Foreign Airlines that are yet to Automate/Integrate on the Avitech platform for the remittance of five percent [5%] Ticket Sales Charge/Cargo Sales Charge[TSC/CSC] to do so or face severe sanctions.
‘’A letter to that effect dated 14th of September, 2018 was despatched to the affected airlines which are 30 in all on behalf of Capt Muhtar Usman, the Director General of the Authority this day 19th September, 2018.
‘’Except for the Lufthansa, German airlines, involved, the rest are all African Countries carriers operating to Nigeria under the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreement[BASA].
‘’It is important to note that, in line with Part 18.12.5 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs), 2015 that “All domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the Authority through an electronic platform provided by the Authority, all relevant documents such as flown coupons, passenger or cargo manifest, air waybills, load sheets, clients’ service invoices and other documents necessary for accurate billing within forty-eight (48) hours after each flight”
‘’In the same vein Part V, Section 12(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 stated that the 5% TSC/CSC to be collected from passengers by Airlines and paid to NCAA. This collections which are shared among the agencies are meant for the maintenance of Safety critical, provisions of infrastructural facilities and for meeting their numerous obligations,’’ said the statement.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NCAA Capt Muhtar Usman has praised domestic airlines over their appreciable and commendable high level of compliance with the payment system which stands at 97% of the current domestic air transport operations.
He appealed to those that were yet to join to take steps be integrated on the platform by working with the appropriate bank /Avitech for immediate and automatic processing and implementation of the project or face sanction, affirming the commitment of NCAA to enforcement of compliance to safety regulations at all times so as to continue to guarantee safer skies in Nigeria.
The Aviation Revenue Automation Project (ARAP) was introduced by the Federal Government in 2011 for revenue collection to engender data integrity, transparency, transaction accountability and control of revenue to the NCAA at no cost to airline operators.