Aero Ladder Saga: NCAA Imposes Sanction, Airline Blames Bauchi Airport Manager


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday imposed what it called an applicable sanction on Aero Contractors Airlines in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations(NCARs).Though, the specific sanction was not revealed but the agency said that it runs into millions of Naira.

According to Mr Sam Adurogboye, Ag General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA,“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has imposed an applicable sanction on Aero Contractors Airlines in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).”

In a letter conveying the sanction, the Director General of the Regulatory Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman, said the action of Aero Contractors Airline in allowing the use of a ladder to disembark passengers from a Boeing 737 – 500 aircraft in a non-emergency situation is “contrary to its approved aircraft handling manual.”Therefore this is a violation of Part of Nig.CARs which part attracts a civil penalty. All relevant agencies made useful submissions during the course of the investigation, the statement read.

In the letter, the DG continued: ‘’in view of the safety implications of your action you are hereby sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Part 20.2.3(15) of the Nig.CARs.”

“Although the incident did not result in any mishap, the aircraft is airworthy and the Crew well qualified to operate the flight. However, it is viewed as a breach and resultantly a fine running into millions of naira have been clamped on the airline to serve as deterrence and to forestall any similar infraction by any other airline operator.”

“In addition, the Captain of the flight was similarly fined for failing to comply with the provisions contained in the aircraft manual.”

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,NCAA, therefore wishes to reiterate its earlier warning that all airlines should endeavour to adhere strictly to Civil Aviation Regulations.

Meanwhile,Managing Director/Accountable Manager, Aero Contractors Airline, Captain Russell Lee Foon has said that the airline was forced to use a ladder to disembark its passengers on flight 5N-BLG, a Boeing 737-500 from Abuja to Bauchi because the Bauchi Airport manager failed to provide the air stairs needed to disembark and board passengers.

The airline explained that due to the absence of ground handling companies at the Bauchi airport, who were supposed to provide gangway equipment to disembark the passengers, it had to improvise.




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