In a proactive measure to address operational nuances, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has embarked on a comprehensive review and reform initiative concerning the wet leasing of aircraft by Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders.
The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, in a press statement said the reforms became necessary following increase of occurrences related to wet lease operations in the aviation sector.
According to Captain Nuhu, in one instance, a wet-lease aircraft that filed a flight plan to Abuja from Lagos departed to and landed in Asaba, adding that the Authority is investigating these incidents to determine their root causes.
He stated the CAA has taken some actions to curb the trend of these occurrences including the suspension of some of the wet-leased operations connected to the recent incidents.
He said: “A preliminary assessment by the Authority has determined that these occurrences appear to related to lack of familiarity with the operational environment by the wet leased aircraft flight crew. Consequently, while the Authority is investigating these incidents to determine their root causes, it has taken some actions to curb the trend of these occurrences including the suspension of some of the wet-leased operations connected to the recent incidents.
“The Authority has observed that some Nigerian AOC holders may not have been providing adequate guidance and supervision over the lessors.
“In recent times, the Authority has observed an increase of occurrences related to wet lease operations. ln one instance, a wet-lease aircraft that filed a flight plan to Abuja from Lagos departed to and landed in Asaba.
“The Authority has also observed wet-leased arrangements are made at short notice by the Nigerian AOC holders without adequate time allocation to train and familiarize the lessors’ flight crew with the AOC holders Ops Specs, routes, aerodromes, terrain and operations in Nigerian Airspace including weather as the operational requirements of Nig CARs 18.104.22.168.
“The Authority hereby reminds all AOC holders involved in wet lease operations that it is their duty and responsibilities to ensure the lessor’s flight crew are made familiar with the lessee’s operations within Nigeria including their Ops Specs, routes, approved aerodromes and company indoctrination.”
According to him, the agency has outlined guidelines for AOC holders operating wet lease aircraft in the country which he said must be strictly adhered to.
All AOC holders involved in wet lease operations are hereby required to provide proof of
i. Ensure the lessor’s flight crew are properly trained and acquainted with AOC holders’ operational requirements in Nigeria including their Ops Specs, routes, aerodrome including CNS facilities and company indoctrination.
ii. Ensure no foreign wet leased aircraft crew are allowed to conduct commercial flight operations to an aerodrome unless they have previously flown there under the supervision of the AOC holder, lessee.
iii. All AOC holders involved in wet lease operations are hereby required to provide proof of compliance with provisions of Nig. CARs 22.214.171.124 (ICAO Annex 6, Part 1 Chapter 9) as relates to demonstration of operational competency of navigation over the route and area to be flown and the aerodrome approved for the AOC holder, latest by 5th December 2023.
iv. Early, arrangements for future wet lease should be made with potential lessors to ensure lessor’s flight crew are acquainted, trained and prepared to operate in Nigeria airspace.
v. Henceforth, proof of compliance with Nig. CARs 126.96.36.199 (ICAO Annex 6, Part 1 Chapter 9) will be a mandatory requirement for final approval of wet lease operations.
vi. Failure to comply with the above requirements, will lead to immediate suspension of wet lease operations and enforcement actions up to and including certificate actions.