We suspended Azman Air to avert national tragedy –NCAA

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority says it suspended the operations of local airline, Azman Air, to avert a national tragedy and loss of lives which may become inevitable if the airline continues to operate with disregard for safety procedures.

NCAA Spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said this in a statement on Friday titled, ‘NCAA Puts The Record Straight On Azman Air Suspension’ which was made available to The PUNCH.

He said the civil aviation regulator of the Nigerian airspace will not be blackmailed and or threatened while carrying out its statutory responsibility.

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The PUNCH had earlier reported that the NCAA suspended the operations of Azman Air on Tuesday after the airline suffered three major incidents in quick succession. The NCAA had also ordered the airline to undergo a safety audit to determine the root cause(s) of the incidents, and recommend corrective actions to forestall re-occurrence.

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Azman in a statement had, however, claimed that the airline complied with safety standards, and was safe.

But in the statement on Friday, the NCAA said, “Over a period of about six weeks, Azman Air Boeing 737 aircraft operating scheduled passenger flights were involved in three separate incidents, resulting in damage to the aircraft in each case but with no loss of life, for which we are grateful to God.”

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The NCAA also said the Accident Investigation Bureau is currently investigating the “serious incidents”, adding that it exercised its duty as the regulator and sanctioned the engineers of the airline and Azman Air itself for certain breaches of safety produces but the fines were yet to be paid.

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“The alarming trend of tyre failures, in combination with improper tyre maintenance procedures, are a clear and strong indication of an accident chain formation in its final stages. There was an urgent need to break the accident chain before a completely avoidable national tragedy occurs. No responsible Civil Aviation Authority will fold its arms and wait for the next incident to occur, perhaps a fatal accident, before taking action,” it added.

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“Finally, neither the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority nor its Director General will succumb to any blackmail and or threat in carrying out the statutory responsibility of the safety and security oversight, in addition to the economic regulation, of the civil aviation industry in Nigeria, as enshrined in the 2006 Civil Aviation Act,” the statement concluded.

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Azman Air, which started commercial flight operations in Nigeria in 2014, has its hub at the Kano airport. The airline has up to seven aircraft in its fleet which mostly comprise B 737 aircraft. It plies about 10 domestic destinations.

The Nigerian civil airspace has maintained a relatively safe record in about a decade now which has increased passengers’ confidence for air travel. The last air crash in the country involving a commercial airplane was in June 2012 when a Dana Air MD-83 aircraft from Abuja crashed near the Lagos airport while attempting an emergency landing, killing all 153 souls on board and six on the ground.

The post We suspended Azman Air to avert national tragedy –NCAA appeared first on Punch Newspapers.

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