Airline becomes first to get NCAA recertification.
Nigeria’s largest commercial airline, Arik Air has scored another first by becoming the first Nigerian airline to be re-certified by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The regulatory body announced on Monday, July 12, 2010 that the airline had met the Federal Government’s requirement of the new Civil Aviation Regulations.
Speaking at the presentation of the new Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Arik Air at the NCAA headquarters annex in Lagos, NCAA Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren said Arik Air had fulfilled the 6th of the eight critical elements as stipulated by the United States of America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
According to him, the element number six involves Licensing and Certification and one of the country’s airlines needs to meet the new regulation. Dr. Demuren expressed optimism that soon Nigeria would bag Category 1 status as the country was close to the end of the certification exercise by the American regulatory body and that at the end of the month, there would be a mock audit which is the final stage of the exercise.
Dr. Demuren said: “Few years ago we began seeking the FAA Category One of which there were eight critical safety elements which must be fulfilled. Today, we are closing number six: License and Certification, and according to the programme, one of our airlines must meet the new regulations. Today, I am happy to tell you that we are closing this open item, we will be issuing the first Air Operating Certification (AOC) under the new regulation under the recertification exercise.”
The NCAA DG praised the tenacity of Arik Air in going through the rigorous process leading to the award of the new AOC. He disclosed the airline’s new Airbus A330-200 was made to do demonstration flight of 50 hours without passengers, a process that saw the aircraft flown empty from Lagos-Johannesburg and also from Lagos to London.
An elated Arik Air Chairman, Sir Arumemi-Ikhide said although the journey was long, tedious, hard and expensive, it was worth it.
“Now, we are looking forward to Nigerian crews flying our A330-200 before the end of this year”, Sir Arumemi-Ikhide disclosed.
He praised the NCAA for doing an excellent job adding that posterity will judge Dr. Demuren.
Arik Air is Nigeria’s leading commercial airline. It now operates a fleet of 26 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline currently serves 21 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
The airline currently operates over 120 flights daily from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.