NIGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a 30- day ultimatum to major Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers to comply with the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) to ensure safety.
The telecommunication providers will risk the pull down of their over 7,000 telecommunication masts and towers if they blatantly fail to obtain the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC).
CAA, without Aviation Height Clearance, all these masts and towers constitute danger to safety of air navigation and flight operations and so considers this a safety violation.
Under the Civil Aviation Act, 2006, Section 30(3)(1), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.
Furthermore, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) Part 18.104.22.168.3.1 stipulates that No person or organisation shall put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organisation is a holder of Aviation Height Clearance Certificate granted under this Regulation.
Consequent upon this provision, the Regulatory Authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation irrespective of the height and location.
However, some telecommunication providers have failed to obtain the mandatory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) despite several letters and entreaties sent to GSM providers from the Authority .
In addition, Letters of Investigation (LOI) were written and delivered to them with no response recorded till date.
Recall that earlier this year, the Director General, of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) members in a meeting were candidly advised by the DG to ensure they obtain Aviation Height Clearance.
This was to reiterate the need for all masts and towers erected in Nigeria to adhere to safety regulation and ensure safety of air navigation.
However, if the GSM providers fail to obtain their clearance in due time, NCAA will immediately embark on mass decommissioning and demolition of all their masts and towers in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to ensure the safety and security of airline operations in the country.