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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency says it is ready for a fresh assessment of the nation’s Category 1 certification to be conducted by the United States’ Federal Aviation Authority.


The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the agency had put necessary things in place to retain the US FAA International Air Safety Assessment Category One Certification.


He announced this at a briefing in Lagos on Sunday, noting that the attainment of the status on September 18, 2010 had been of immense benefit to the country in terms of increased volume of traffic and commercial value.


The director-general said a technical committee had been set up by the NCAA to prepare for the re-auditing ,which will commence on March 31, 2014.


Akinkuotu said, “The NCAA is putting all hands on deck to ensure that the nation acquaints itself very well in the impending exercise.


“To this effect, a technical committee has been inaugurated to provide fillip and drive all the preparation process. Membership of this committee is drawn from the flight safety group directorates. These are: Directorate of Airworthiness Standard, Directorate of Licensing and the Directorate of Operations and Training.


“The term of reference of the technical committee is to ensure adequate preparation for the FAA Category 1 re-asessment, and all the staff members of the NCAA are ready for the audit.”


On the need for the re-assessment, he explained that it was to ensure that the NCAA processes were in order.


“They want to receive assurances that the high standards that gave us the certification are sustained,” Akinkuotu said.


Expatiating on the benefit of the status to the country, he said, “The Cat 1 certification, apart from the safety rating, is a business catalyst that is capable of employing hundreds of thousands of Nigerians and the entrepreneurial proceeds derivable from it.


“Due to the enhanced safety rating, insurance premium for airlines has been reasonable. This is one of the most significant operating costs for an airline. It will engender much more favourable leasing/lending terms from financial institutions for our airline operators.”


Akinkuotu also stated that the NCAA would audit other airlines operating in the country.


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