Nigeria achieved a Category 1 air safety rating from the United States government under the FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment programme in 2010.
“As with any audit exercise, you cannot expect 100 per cent performance. We expect that within the next 30 days, we will receive a written report from the FAA on their findings. As of now, Nigeria is still in Category 1 and so far so good, we are optimistic about our performance. All hands were on desk and I want to thank all our colleagues and the media for their support towards the success of the exercise,” he said.
The exercise which began on Monday, focused on audit of personnel licensing, international operations and airworthiness, which Usman said the agency was fully prepared for.
Before the exercise commenced, the DG had disclosed that the NCAA had done a lot in the areas expected to be covered, not only for the audit, but as part of the regulatory agency’s statutory responsibilities.
He said there was also a new civil aviation bill, which was on its way to the National Assembly, adding that the “bill would enhance the current Act of 2006 in line with the new annexes of the ICAO Convention.
“We also amended our regulation, which is the 2015 Civil Aviation Regulation. Re-organisation has also been going on to make sure the organisation continues to discharge its responsibilities as it should be, which is to be in line with ICAO.”
“We want to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel in the industry in sufficient numbers to make sure we carry out the safety regulations as required by ICAO. In the area of enforcement and compliance, we have done a lot. We make sure that our regulations, which are mainly safety, are enforced,” he said.
Usman also disclosed that the certification of the Abuja and Lagos airports would soon be completed, but that the required safety standards must be met before they would be certified.