The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has fined First Nation Airways (FNA) and one of its pilots a total of N33.5 million for contravening safety regulations

In a letter conveying the penalties, the carrier was ordered to pay a sum of N32, 000,000 while the pilot-in-command was fined N1, 500,000.

The spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said in a statement issued in Lagos that the pilot operated 16 scheduled flights between November 2nd and 8th 2016 with expired medical certificate which invariably rendered his pilot’s licence invalid.

“During a ramp inspection on your Airbus A319 Aircraft with registration mark 5N-FNE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA),it was discovered that the pilot-in-command was not in personal possession of a current medical certificate neither was it readily accessible,” said Adurogboye.

Consequently, the agency said a letter investigation was sent to the airline and the affected pilot.

It said the pilot admitted violating the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) while the airline demonstrated lack of thorough knowledge of the requirements of the Regulations.

“The airline has contravened the Regulations by allowing a flight crew member to be rostered to operate a total of 16 scheduled flights on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th November, 2016.

“These operations were carried out while his medical certificate had expired since on the 1st November, 2016, thereby rendering his pilot’s licence subsequently invalid from that date.

“In light of these, the airline is hereby sanctioned in accordance with IS 1.3.3 (14) while the Pilot suffered similar fate in line with IS 1.3.3 (11) (15) (e), in lieu of suspension under IS 1.3.3(11) (15) (a) of the Nig.CARs 2015.

“On this strength, the airline is required to pay a total sum of N32,000,000 while the pilot will pay N1.5 million being moderate civil penalty for the violation.

Adurogboye who said the fine must be paid within seven days of receipt of the letter from the Authority added: “NCAA therefore wishes to advise all airline operators to acquaint themselves properly with the Nig.NCARs to guide their operations as violation[s] is viewed seriously.”