Categories: BusinessOn the Go

Azman Air sacks staff after NCAA safety audit

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

Azman Air has sacked Zakaria Al-Najjar, the airline’s acting head of maintenance, and appointed Peter Vungmo as replacement.

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In a statement on Sunday, Magaji Misau, admin and human resources manager of Azman Air, said Al-Najjar has been relieved of his position due to “recent development in the airline”.

The airline is facing suspension  by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over safety concerns.

Prior to the suspension, aircrafts operated by the carrier have suffered two incidents within the last month at the Abuja and Kaduna airports.

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“Further to the recent development in the airline, management directed to notify you of its decision to relieve you from your appointment as acting head of maintenance, with effect from today, April 4, 2021,” the statement read.

“Kindly arrange to hand over the maintenance department to Peter Vungmo who has been appointed on acting capacity as Head of Maintenance.”

The airline also appointed Sunusi Mahi as a flight safety officer to replace Tijjani Shaddad who resigned recently, while Eyas Adwan was promoted from cabin services training manager to Azman Air training manager.

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Azman Air noted that it has commenced the enactment of corrective action plan (CAP) on the management area of its audits.

In a 19-page audited report dated April 2, Musa Nuhu, NCAA director-general, said the regulator found several unsafe practices in the airline’s operation.

The report noted that the airline is indebted to NCAA to the tune of N1.54 billion over non-remittance of five percent of the ticket sales charge and cargo sales charge.

“Azman Air Ltd was found to violate Section 12 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 as regards to non-remittance of five per cent TSC/CSC,” the report read.

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“This is evidenced by the airline being indebted to the authority to the tune N1,545,262,120.31 as at December 2020.

“Azman Air Ltd was found to be in violation of Nig.CARs 18.12.6 as regards signing an agreement with the authority for direct debit. This is evidenced by the delay in signing of the Direct Debit Tripartite Agreement with NCAA.”

The regulator accused the airline of failing to submit its financial health report for several months despite reminders.

It said the last submission was in July 2020, adding that during the audit, Azman Air submitted reports for December 2020 and January 2021.

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NCAA also accused Azman’s chief pilot of incompetence, adding that the airline’s director of maintenance also failed to ensure that approved maintenance control manual procedures are effectively implemented.

“Azman was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.2 (e) (2) and (3)(i) with regards to discharge of the duties of the Chief Pilot, thereby unable to maintain safe commercial flight operations,” it read.

“This is evidenced by the fact that the Chief Pilot did not know that some of his pilots were overdue for SMS, CRM training, etc, and were not making technical log entries and signing voyage reports as required by Nig.CARs 8.5.1.19.

“The Chief Pilot exhibited a lack of understanding of his duties and responsibilities as contained in the Operations Manuals.

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“Azman Air Ltd was found not to be in compliance with the Nig.CARs 9.3.1.2, with respect to provision of current Operations Manual to officers involved in operational control.

“This is evidenced by Azman’s inability to provide a current copy of the Company’s Emergency Response Plan (this is a repeat finding) as required by Nig.CAR 9.3.1.2(g)(7).

“Azman was found not to be in compliance with Nig.CAR 9.2.2.11 regarding Flight Safety Programme. This is evidenced by the fact that, though, Azman Air has a robust flight data monitoring system arrangement with Flight Technics, who constantly furnish Azman Air with flight data reports, these reports stop at reception with no further actions to address unsafe issues captured.

“The airline was found not to be in compliance with the provisions of Nig.CARs 9.2.2.10 and 20.3.1.1, relating to Safety Management System establishment.

“This is evidenced by lack of a Safety Manager or Safety Officers to run the Safety Management System. Lack of this has also resulted in poor management of Flight Data Monitoring Reports for safety improvements.”

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