NCAA fines Lyxor N9.5m for airspace violation

NCAA fines Lyxor N9.5m for airspace violationThe Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has fined Lyxor International, a non-schedule general aviation operator, N9.5m for violating the terms of its approved flight clearances.

The NCAA, in the Letter of Sanction written to the airline, said its Aviation Safety Inspectors on February 16, 2017, during a routine ramp inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.

In a statement on Sunday, the NCAA said, “Upon this discovery, the aircraft with registration mark T7-YES was immediately grounded by the Aviation Safety Inspectors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“However, the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3m on volitional condition on account of a possible civil sanction. This was in addition to an undertaken to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation.”

The NCAA stated that the airline’s response to its letter of investigation was found unsatisfactory after due consideration, adding that there was clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between the December 11, 2016 and February 15, 2017.

The NCAA letter read in part, “In accordance with IS Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015), you are hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearance for non-schedule international air services. This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500,000 per violation.”

“The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6.5m (i.e. N500,000 x 13). For the 13 times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.

“In addition, for the six times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3m (i.e.N500,000 x 6).

The respondent shall, however, pay the sum of N6.5m having made a deposit of N3,000,000 towards possible sanctions.”

According to the NCAA, the airline is expected to pay the fine within seven days of receipt of the letter.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, has advocated for regular interactions between the regulatory authority and Airline Operators of Nigeria.

He made this call during a meeting with the airline operators in his office to discuss various issues affecting the industry, including the NCAA’s directive to the airlines to meet the deadline of automating the remittance of five per cent ticket and cargo sales charge, among others.

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