Captain Ado Sanusi, an aviation expert and analyst, has refuted the Federal Government’s assertion that the contentious Nigeria Air will go into operation before the next administration’s scheduled May 29 inauguration.
Sanusi, who is also the CEO of Aero Contractors, revealed this on Friday during an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme. She said that the arrival of the aircraft did not imply that it will start conducting business any time soon due to the upcoming change in leadership.
It was earlier reported that despite the court injunction halting the national carrier project, the aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, had hinted that the airline will start operating before the swearing-in ceremony.
Sirika in a National Aviation Stakeholders Forum 2023 in Abuja on Thursday said, “Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly,” Mr Sirika said.
“Negotiation meetings with the Ethiopian Airlines Group Consortium and the Federal Government of Nigeria is ongoing. Next step: Federal Executive Council approval of the Full Business Case.”
The aviation expert argued against him, stating that given the rigorous process required and the fact that the entire world is watching, he believed the regulatory body, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, would not waive it, it is practically impossible for the airline to begin commercial passenger operation in two days.
He said, “It is one thing to bring the aeroplane to the country, it is another thing to start the airline, getting all the necessary approvals from NCAA.
“There’s a very important and vital component of getting an AOC, which is the demonstration flights. Of course, there are waivers that the Director General of the NCAA has the power to give, but the demonstration flights are critical to safe operations and I do not think he would give that waiver.
“So it is practically impossible for the airline to take off in the next two days. It is not possible,” he added.