An aviation expert and analyst, Captain Ado Sanusi, has countered the Federal Government’s claim that the controversial Nigeria Air will begin operation before the inauguration of the new administration scheduled to hold May 29.
Sanusi, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, said this while featuring on Channels TV Sunrise Daily programme on Friday adding that the arrival of the aircraft does not mean that it will begin commercial operation in the remaining days to the change of administration.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, has hinted that the airline will commence operation before the swearing-in ceremony despite the court order stopping the national carrier project.
Sirika in a National Aviation Stakeholders Forum 2023 in Abuja on Thursday said, “Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly,” Mr Sirika said.
“Negotiation meetings with the Ethiopian Airlines Group Consortium and the Federal Government of Nigeria is ongoing. Next step: Federal Executive Council approval of the Full Business Case.”
Countering his position, the aviation expert opined that it is practically impossible for the airline to start commercial passenger operation in two days’ time given the rigorous process involved which he believes would not be waived by the regulatory authority, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, as the whole world is watching.
He said, “It is one thing to bring the aeroplane to the country, it is another thing to start the airline, getting all the necessary approvals from NCAA.
“There’s a very important and vital component of getting an AOC, which is the demonstration flights. Of course, there are waivers that the Director General of the NCAA has the power to give, but the demonstration flights are critical to safe operations and I do not think he would give that waiver.
“So it is practically impossible for the airline to take off in the next two days. It is not possible,” he added.