NOT less than 146 private jets are in Nigeria. Confirming the development, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disclosed that out of the 146 corporate jets, only 46 were registered in Nigeria while 100 has foreign registration.
Director General of NCAA, Captain Muhktar Usman disclosed this when he addressed public relations officers of airlines, aviation agencies and other organisations in the industry during a meeting organised by the Authority. The meeting was aimed at improving the ways of reporting incidents and accidents in the industry.
Muhktar disclosed that there were 30 certified air operators, over 400 in-service aircraft registered in Nigeria and 130 helicopters.
Explaining further, he said: “This forum however, is to take a cursory look at our information dissemination as it relates to handling and reporting safety vis-à-vis incidents and accidents. It is not entirely a new discussion in various fora, but the approach requires tinkering. There is a need for a unified communication and integration among all the information managers of all the agencies.
“We should put on the table a synergy and a robust working relationship among all of you. When I say all of you, this includes the public relations apparatchik of NCAA. If we commence integrated information, there will be a concerted approach when there are incidences. On the reality, an airline operation is not without its own fair share of incidences worldwide,” Muhktar said.
He noted that the basic principles of air navigation are identical to general navigation, which include the process of planning, recording and controlling the movement of a craft from one place to another.
“However, successful air navigation involves piloting an aircraft from one end to the other without getting lost, breaking the laws applying to aircraft or endangering the safety of those on board or on the ground. It therefore suffices that if successful navigation is to safely move the aircraft from place to place, I have a responsibility to enlighten all present about air return.
“Air return and taxi return are flight return terms used to describe a situation where a Pilot-In-Command (PIC) has made a determination to return to gate at the departure airport.
“Air Return can therefore be occasioned when a pilot suspects or has ascertained that an aircraft has developed a technical fault. Not only that, an in-flight situation may have arisen that makes it impossible to progress the flight to the destination airport,” the Director General said.
He said if the pilot makes air return in that given condition he has acted according to the standards and recommended practices (SARPs) in the global aviation, noting that it was not a dire situation but a safety precautionary measure exercised to save the souls on board the aircraft.
“Against this background, I would therefore advise our gentlemen of the press to exercise a bit of caution while reporting the occasional air returns to avoid creating unnecessary panic among air travelers.
It is on this note that I want to enjoin all the public relations and information managers of airlines and agencies here present to endeavour to appropriately issue timely press releases to clarify issues/incidences when they occur.
“Except under specific instructions you do not need to wait for the regulatory authority to issue a release on an incidence that is obviously closer to you. This is your purview and your account would sustain the confidence of the flying public,” he also said.
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