Nigeria's civil aviation regulator has been warned by European safety authorities that its oversight of air carriers appears inadequate, and needs to improve.
The warning accompanies a scathing assessment of Nigerian operator Med-View Airline, on the basis of which the European Commission has newly blacklisted the carrier.
Lagos-based Med-View's attempt to secure third-country authorisation from the European Aviation Safety Agency was rejected in November last year after EASA raised "fundamental concerns" over the airline's "failure…to demonstrate compliance" with requirements, says the formal blacklist documentation.
During its assessment of the airline EASA had identified problems centred on flight operations outside of the scope of the carrier's air operator's certificate, airworthiness and maintenance control, safety management, and the implementation of airworthiness directives.
Med-View informed the European Commission about corrective measures it had taken to address these concerns during a hearing in April this year.
"However, Med-View Airline showed a clear lack of awareness and comprehension of the seriousness of the safety concerns raised by EASA," says the documentation.
"Moreover, the measures taken by Med-View Airline show a lack of proper root cause analysis and suitable corrective action plan to prevent re-occurrence of the same or similar non-compliances which led to those concerns."
It concludes that the available information shows evidence of "serious safety deficiencies" on the part of Med-View which the carrier is "not capable of addressing".
The damning verdict, which led the Commission to ban Med-View, extends to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, which had also given a presentation to the Commission last month.
It provided only "limited" information during the hearing and failed to satisfy concerns over its capabilities, says the documentation.
"The NCAA's replies to questions regarding its ability to identify and monitor safety deficiencies indicated [its] ability is not adequate," it adds. "It is considered that the NCAA will need to take measures in order to improve the required quality of the safety oversight on the air carriers for which it is responsible."
Med-View has been banned its being listed on the registry of carriers which have passed the IATA operational safety audit. The registry shows Med-View's approval is valid to 26 March 2018.
IATA says it does not revoke carriers on the register "by default" if they are blacklisted. But the association adds: "The [safety audit programme] has processes in place that require operators to report circumstances which may prompt actions that, in turn, may have an impact on the registry of the operator."
These potential actions include such measures as suspension of registration or determination of the need for a verification audit.
"We at Med-View Airline are committed to safety, and currently working with EASA and NCAA to restore normalcy," says the carrier's business development executive director Isiaq Na'Allah.
Med-View has a fleet which includes a leased Icelandic-registered Boeing 747-400, and the airline states that it has also "secured" a leased Boeing 777 from a European Union country.
The carrier points out that its wet-lease of aircraft means its operation to London Gatwick is "in no way affected" by the blacklisting.
Flight Fleets Analyzer indicates that other jets in its fleet – including a Boeing 767-300ER and three 737s – are Nigerian-registered, and subject to local oversight.
Source: Cirium Dashboard