NCAA threatens to close airports over standards

Airports, both federal and state-owned, that fail to meet the flight regulatory standards will be closed for operations, says the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman.

Captain Usman maintained that all the airports must abide by the given standards in accordance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR), which is the domestication of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.

The DG said every airport must meet safety, security standards and must be able to enhance passenger facilitation.

“We will not allow any airport to continue to exist if it does not meet that given international standard. That is our own position. We would encourage the states to ensure that whatever they do they must make sure that their airport conforms with international standards, which include international security standard, international safety standard and every other thing that efficiently facilitates passengers’ movement,” the Director-General said.

Usman however noted that some airports that want to conduct daylight operation could be allowed to do so and would be given approval for basic requirements; while those that would want to operate night operation must need airfield lighting.

“There is what we call visual flight rule (which means flying only in the day) so we must not insist the airports must have airfield lighting if they don’t need to fly in the night. The only thing is that when we are certifying them we will certify them with restriction based on the operation they can carry out.

“It will be better for airports, whether owned by the federal government, state or local government, to have all the facilities but, of course, the facilities cost a lot of money. You know, if you have to operate in the night, you certainly need light and that will be at extra cost. That is why some airports want to operate daily flights. Some even want to operate one flight a day; some will like to operate three times a week. So such airports don’t need to have non-essential facilities but the basic facilities must be there to enhance safety, security and facilitation,” he said.

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria

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