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Substandard airports should be shutdown by NCAA – Aviation Expert

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Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu (retd), an aviation stakeholder has said that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should be bold enough to shut down airports that are operating below the minimal industry standard.

Ojikutu in an interview with ThePressNG said that inasmuch as the NCAA had carried out punishment measures against private organisations, especially airlines that failed to operate to industry standards, the industry regulator had failed to carry out such sanctions against government agencies that failed to operate to required standards.

Ojikutu expressed concerns that most of the country’s airports are operating below standards, yet the apex aviation agency had failed to walk its talk on them.

According to Ojikutu, Nigeria failed to score the minimal required 75% in the recently conducted International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Safety Audit because of the non-certification of any of the international airports in the country.

He called on the NCAA to periodically carry out auditing of the airports, just as it does for airlines, ground handling companies and other allied organisations.

Ojikutu queried the NCAA’s checklists or standards for runways, taxiways, lightings, perimeter/security fences and others at the airports

He maintained that all these facilities must have adequate skilled manpower for their management, services and maintenance.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt, Musa Nuhu had said recently that Nigeria lost about 12 points to the recent ICAO audit due to the non-certification of any of the five airports in the country.

He also said that without the certification of airports, it was almost impossible for any country to score above 70 per cent in ICAO audits.

He, however, warned that the NCAA would not issue any undeserving certification to any organization or airport.

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