The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has imposed a fine of N9.5 million on Lyxor International, a non-schedule general aviation operator, for allegedly violating the terms of its approved flight clearances.
Sam Adurogboye, spokesman of the regulatory authority, confirmed this in a statement issued on Sunday.
He said in February, a letter of sanction was written to the airline after it was found culpable of infraction.
“Therefore, upon this discovery, the aircraft with registration marks T7-YES was immediately grounded by the Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja,” the statement read.
“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.”
Adurogboye said the agency was not satisfied with the response of the airline to its letter.
“Contained in the Letter of Sanction, NCAA said, after due consideration of your response to our Letter of Investigation (LOI), it was found unsatisfactory,” he said.
“We found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between the 11th of December, 2016 and the 15th of February, 2017.”
He also revealed parts of the subsequent letter written to the airline.
“Therefore, in accordance with IS 184.108.40.206. Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015) you are hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-schedule international air services. This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500,000 per violation,” the letter read.
The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6,500,000 (i.e. N500,000 x 13).For the thirteen (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 (6) times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3, 000,000 (i.e.N500, 000 x 6).
“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6,500,000 (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand naira only) having made a deposit of N3,000,000 towards possible sanctions.
“The airline is expected to pay these fines within seven (7) days of receipt of this letter.”
Meanwhile, Muhtar Usman, director-general of the agency, has called for regular interactions between the regulatory authority and all Airline Operators of Nigeria. (AON).
He made this call during a meeting with the airline operators.
The meeting was about various issues affecting the aviation industry and proffer ways to build.