The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has kicked against the recurring incident of flight delays and cancellations inflicted on passengers and threatened to sanction erring airlines.
Reading the riot act to the domestic carriers the director general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Chris Najomo, in a statement, warned that the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo may be forced to implement his five-point agenda as mandated by President Bola Tinubu if the flight disruptions continue.
In recent days, passengers have been subjected to serious hardships and danger as at times the flights for 4 pm have often been delayed till 1 am at a time when the country is experiencing insecurity.
According to the statement issued on behalf of the MCAA by the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Michael Achimugu, the DG read out the riot act at the weekend in Abuja in a meeting with the domestic operators.
The DG NCAA particularly frowned at what he called the poor customer experience and bad handling of passengers charging the airlines to improve their services or face the consequences, Tribune Reports.
Najomo who lamented how the airlines abruptly rescheduled flights without adequate notice to passengers, emphasised the need for the airlines to re-adjust their flight schedule to match their number of serviceable aircraft.
While stressing that the airlines are also aware of the airports with sunset operations, Najomo declared: “The airlines must consider scheduling flights into sunset airports early in the day to minimise cancellations as a result of airport closure at sunset.
“Airlines must handle persons with reduced mobility properly, with dignity and without discrimination as airlines are mandated to provide facilities for the movement of persons with reduced mobility and by virtue of the provisions of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations Part 19, airlines are required to provide on their ticket portal a mandatory field for special needs assistance and require their agents to actively ask customers during ticket purchase if they will require assistance.”
Threatening that it would no longer be business as usual, the DG warned that errant airlines would be sanctioned appropriately without fear or favour.
He used the opportunity to announce how the NCAA had stepped up its surveillance to monitor compliance to fish out violators of the civil aviation regulations.
Najomo maintained that Keyamo was focused on sanitising the aviation industry, adding that sanctions would be applied for any infractions or flight disruptions not managed properly.
The airlines in the statement issued by the NCAA had during the meeting raised concerns of poor airport facilities, single standby generator at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), in Lagos, frequent bird strikes, bush burning in Port Harcourt, and congested boarding gates.