NCAA investigates Nigeria unification, suspends leased aircraft operations

NCAA investigates Nigeria unification, suspends leased aircraft operations

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday intervened in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) following an incident that raised concerns about the integrity of the airline service.

As a precautionary measure, the top regulator also suspended operations of leased aircraft in UNA’s fleet.

The airline was in the news on Sunday after its Lagos-Abuja flight suddenly arrived at Asaba International Airport on prior notice.

Adding to the confusion, the flight crew announced their arrival at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, even though the actual location was Asaba, Delta State.

Achilles Chudo Uchegbu, head of corporate communications at UNA, said the diversion was appropriate but was due to a mistake on the part of the flight attendants upon arrival in Asaba.

The Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Colonel Musa Nuhu, said the investigation would look into the circumstances surrounding the Asaba-bound Nigerian Union flight NUA 0506 and the confusion it caused in the public.

Nouf said preliminary steps were being taken pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.

The Guardian has learned that one of the measures will be to ground two of UNA’s aircraft until compliance with standard procedures and safety can be guaranteed.

The director general reassured the traveling public that the NCAA “continues to take every measure to ensure the continued safety of the aviation industry.”

Sunday’s inaccurate coverage of the destination prompted a flurry of negative comments about the airline and local carriers on social media.

Recall that in June, a plane operated by United Nigeria Airlines skidded off the runway at the Murtala Muhammed Second Airport (MMA2) in Lagos, leaving scores of passengers panicking.

The 50-seater jet was fully loaded and was flying from Abakaliki Airport in Ebonyi State when the incident occurred.

However, United Nigeria has the latest safety compliance certification in the country. The two-year-old airline recently surprised the industry by recording a major feat of clearing the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) hurdle in the International Safety Certification Program ahead of regional and international operations.

IOSA is a globally recognized rating system designed to evaluate airline operations management and control systems, is the safety prestige for the world’s airlines, and is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This is a prerequisite for becoming one.


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