By G9ija

Lagos – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has distanced itself from the recent collapse of some airlines in the country, saying that it never regulated them out of existence.

The regulatory body also denied the claim by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) that the multiple charges collected from airline operators by the agency were responsible for the death of many carriers in the country.

Rather, NCAA said its charges and levies were in tandem with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and other Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) around the world.

Mr. Sam Adurogboye,  the General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, stated these yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos during an interaction with aviation journalists.

Adurogboye declared that it was not the intention of the agency to regulate indigenous carriers out of existence, but to ensure effective monitoring and supervision of the airlines to avoid avoidable mishaps.

Adurogboye explained that through its effective supervision, the number of registered scheduled airlines have drastically reduced from 150 in 2000 when the agency was established to just nine in 2017, insisting that it would not relax its supervision of the airlines despite opposition to that effect from some quarters.

He said: “As at 2000 when the agency was established by the government, we had 150 registered scheduled airlines in the country and by 2006, which was six years later, the number had reduced to just 28. The reduction has to do with the work we are doing as a regulator. At a time, the numbers came down to 12 and at the moment, we have only nine registered scheduled carriers.

“It’s like that because we have to do what we have to do. So, they will naturally fizzle out. It was the same experience too in the banking industry when the weak ones had to give way or taken over by stronger banks.

“If anyone is saying NCAA is not regulating the airlines the way it should, they are indirectly telling us to run their airlines for them, which is not in our purview and against ICAO recommendations. It is not our duty to do feasibility studies for airlines, but we carry out comprehensive system check on their operations, including insurance and others.”

He argued that airlines, just like any other business would commence operations and close shop when they are not properly managed by their owners.

He specifically mentioned the United States of America (USA) as the country with most collapsed carriers despite the strong supervision of the Federal Administration Authority (FAA), adding that airlines in that clime merge operations in order to prevent total collapse.

He, however, wondered why airlines in the country could not do same whenever they could no longer stand alone.

He mentioned bad corporate governance, ineptitude management and bad equipment for operations as some of the reasons airlines in Nigeria have been collapsing.

On the claim of multiple charges by AON, Adurogboye insisted that it charges are in compliance with the recommendation of ICAO, stressing that some other countries around the world collect more levies from airlines and passengers than it’s currently doing.

Adurogboye explained that for instance, the five per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) remitted into its coffers by airlines, is actually paid by air travellers to sustain its operations and other agencies concerned while carriers collect the sum on behalf of NCAA.

AON had recently accused NCAA and other agencies in the nation’s aviation industry of being responsible for the collapse of many carriers through multiple charges.

The Chairman of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, in an interview with journalists, said that on the average, domestic airlines pay about 35 to 40 per cent of a ticket cost as taxes and charge, which include five per cent TSC, five per cent cargo sales charge, five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), passenger service charge, charter sales charge, aircraft inspection fees and simulator inspection fees.

Others are landing charges, parking charges, terminal navigational charge, en-route charge, fuel surcharge, airport space rent, electricity charges apron pass, ramp access charges, on-duty-card and a newly imposed registration fee.

Meggison declared that multiple charges from different agencies in the sector and the nation are part of the major factors contributing to death of airlines in the country, stressing that the system in the country was continuously manipulating, feasting and pushing the financial envelope of airlines by inflicting multiple taxes, charges and levies to the extent that airlines are now groaning under the pressure and some are going insolve

Source independentnig