NCAA fines airline N9.5m for airspace violation

by Dolapo Adelana

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has fined Lyxor International N9.5 million for operating in the country without flight clearance.

In a statement on Sunday, NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said that the Letter of Sanction conveying the penalties had been sent to the non-schedule general aviation operator.

The Authority said it sanctioned for airline for severally violating the terms of its approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

Adurogboye said the NCAA found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between Dec. 11, 2016 and Feb. 15, 2017.

“Therefore, in accordance with IS 1.3.3.3. Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015), the airline is hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

“This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500, 000 per violation.

“The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6.5 million (i.e. N500, 000 x 13) for the 13 times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.

“In addition, for the six times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3 million (i.e.N500, 000 x 6).

“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6.5 million only, having made a deposit of N3 million towards possible sanctions,” he said.

Adurogboye added that the airline was expected to pay these fines within seven days of receipt of the letter.

According to him, NCAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) on Feb. 16, had during a routine Ramp Inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.

Adurogboye said, “Therefore, upon this discovery, the aircraft with registration mark T7-YES was immediately grounded by the ASI at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International   Airport, (NAIA), Abuja.

“However, the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3 million on volitional condition on account of possible civil sanction.

“This was in addition to an undertaken to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation.”

He said the NCAA found the airline’s response to its Letter of Investigation unsatisfactory after due consideration.

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