NCAA fines airline N9.5m for airspace violation

For violation of the country’s airspace, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has sanctioned Lyxor International, a nonschedule general aviation operator.

The aviation regulator disclosed that the action was a consequence of the operator severally violating the terms of its approved flight clearances for nonscheduled international air services.

According to the Letter of Sanction written to the airline, NCAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI), on February 16, 2017, during a routine Ramp Inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.

Upon this discovery, the aircraft, with registration marks T7-YES, was immediately grounded by the Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

Sam Adurogboye, NCAA’s spokesman in a statement yesterday, said the aircraft was subsequently released after the payment of N3 million on volitional condition on account of possible civil sanction, adding that this was in addition to an undertaken to comply with any sanction applicable as a result of the violation.

Adurogboye said, in a statement yesterday, that the Letter of Sanction conveying the penalties had been sent to Lyxor International.

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

“Therefore, in accordance with IS Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015), the airline is hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for nonscheduled 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 N6.5 million (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 N3 million (i.e. N500, 000 x 6).

“The respondent shall, however, pay the sum of N6.5 million only, having made a deposit of N3 million towards possible sanctions,” he said.

Adurogboye added that the airline was expected to pay these fines within seven days of receipt of the letter.

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