by Akan Ido
The new National Civil Aviation Policy, 2013, released by the Federal Government on Friday has barred individuals with private jets from conveying friends and business associates on board the jet. It, however, allows owners to lift family members on the aircraft.
It states further that companies with private jets are permitted to carry only their employees or members of the Boards of Directors.
The regulation states, among other things, that “Approval or clearance from the Director-General, NCAA, will not be required from Nigerians operating non-revenue flights with appropriate insurance policies in the following cases: ‘For private aircraft owned or leased by individuals, only the family members of the owner/lessee of the aircraft will be permitted on board as passengers; ‘For private aircraft owned or leased by companies or corporate entities, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company will be permitted on board as passengers.
“For aircraft belonging to non-scheduled or scheduled operators, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company or the corporation may be permitted on board as passengers; all operators will declare the identities of all passengers on non-revenue charter flights in the appropriate general declaration forms prior to obtaining ATC clearance.
“Nigerian carriers operating revenue passenger charter flights will be required to have a current non-scheduled or scheduled operator permit with operations manual that contains flight duty time limitations, which will be strictly monitored on regular basis.”
Part VII of the NCAP 2013, which deals with general aviation (private jets), read in part, “Retention of foreign registered aircraft in Nigeria will not be permitted beyond a period of 15 days from date of entry. However, the Minister of Aviation may, in certain circumstances, grant the extension of this period for up to 60 days.”
The only option out for owners of jets registered outside the country is for them to de-register it and register it in the country.
An aviation expert and former Military Commandant, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu, said the demand for passengers’ manifest on private aircraft could only be the responsibility of the State Security Services (SSS).
“The need for passengers’ manifest on private aircraft, if required, can only be the responsibility of the State Security Services, and in the case of private aircraft on international flight, the Nigerian Immigration Service,” he reportedly said.
Some business moguls and pastors, who have their private jets registered in foreign countries are: Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; Pastor David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church; President, Christian Association of Nigeria; Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Aliko Dangote of the Dangote Group; Jimoh Ibahim of Global Fleet; Mike Adenuga of Globacom and businessman, Harry Akande.
State governments, whose jets carry foreign registration numbers, include Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.