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CSNAC asks NCAA to investigate Arik Airline for violation of safety rules

By News Express on 07/11/2016

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The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to investigate the a commercial airline, Arik, for allegedly endangering passengers’ lives and violating safety rules.

In a petition signed by CSNAC's Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju and forwarded to the aviation authority, the coalition said it gathered from sources within the aviation industry that the airline is committing variety of illegalities by encouraging its Pilots to ignore regulations, among others.

Taking its cue from ‎the report of an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters of 24th of October 2016, where it was revealed how Arik Airline endangers its passengers’ lives as well as violates aviation safety rules.

CSNAC said the report also disclosed that Arik Airline gambles with the lives of its passengers through illegal practices of paying pilots $200 to exceed the maximum number of landings permissible by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“The maximum number of landings approved by NCAA is seven but Arik forces its pilots to make eight and pays $200 to have their duty time extended to 20 hours.”

CSNAC said further: “It was also revealed that some of Arik airline pilots have been found drunk on duty. In June, Arik Safety Manager, Captain Jide Bakare, according to the newspaper’s source, was pulled aside on a flight to London to be tested for alcohol by Dr. Tunji of Kupa Hospital, Ajao Estate, Lagos and the test returned a positive result.

“According to the paper, Captain Bakare was replaced on the flight by an Indian pilot and no action was taken against him because he is married to the sister of the airline’s Deputy Managing Director. Rather, he was simply told to go for rehabilitation.

“It was confirmed that not every pilot gets this type of treatment. There are instances when some Arik Airbus pilots had an incident, Captain Bakare headed the panel that investigated the circumstances of the mishaps, the report of which is shielded from the NCAA.”

CSNAC also raised another issue of illegality committed by the airline from the report relating to the Tech Log.

“Legally, only approved engineers can clear the Tech Log, not pilots. But when Lufthansa engineers went on strike because they were not paid, Sahara Reporters learnt that Arik illegally forced pilots to sign off the Tech Log for the airline's planes to fly.”

According to the report, when crew members are ineligible to fly, the airline forces them to fly, thereby breaking flight time limits (forcing crew to fly above their limits is an invitation to fatigue and accidents). It was discovered that when some crew challenged this, the Chairman was said to have barred them from international flights for two years, as a sanction.

It was also discovered that there are other torrid, less than dignifying conditions allegedly imposed by the Chairman in which Nigerian pilots are reduced to cleaning aircrafts in the fleet.

“Furthermore, it was revealed how staff of the airline at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos, have not been promoted in eight years. Pensions and taxes of the airline's staff are similarly not remitted and benefits are ignored. According to the newspaper's source, the staff are entitled to flight tickets at a discounted price of N150,000, but such are given out as gifts to friends of the top guns at the airline.

“In view of this, it is expedient that NCAA take a quick action in tackling this situation as passengers' (citizens and foreigners) lives are in endangered by this violation of laid down rules and laws .

“We shall be most grateful if the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority treat this petition with the urgency it deserves.”

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 07/11/2016 05:15:58 AM

 

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