THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised airlines to be realistic in their flights’ planning and schedules to reduce cases of delays and cancellations plaguing their operations. Mr Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, said that this was part of the resolutions reached at the recent meeting with stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the issue.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that domestic airlines operating in Nigeria recorded 8,825 cases of delayed flights from January to March, according to statistics released by the Consumers Protection Directorate of the NCAA. The document said 208 flights were cancelled for various reasons by the eight airlines in operation during the period under review. Adurogboye said that NCAA had declared zero tolerance to flight delays and cancellations. He said the forum was attended by 13 international airlines, eight domestic airlines and airport operators- the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services. “During the discussions, officials of the NCAA requested the airlines’ operators to enumerate their challenges that could be the likely causes of delays and cancellations. “In response, the airlines itemised various challenges among which are fuel supply, need for improvement in infrastructure at the airport, unruly passengers and traffic on the Airport Road,” Adurogboye said. According to him, management of the NCAA and FAAN, in their responses, assured the operators that all these challenges will be tackled very soon.He said other resolutions reached was that the airlines should always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status. Adurogboye said the airlines were also asked to ensure they provide right to care to passengers in times of delays/cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19.He said it was also agreed that FAAN should beef up security at the airports to prevent unlawful interference, while airlines representatives should be available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force. Adurogboye said: “Airlines and airport operators should maintain constant communication. “Airlines should always request for reimbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19. “Airlines inputs should be considered in the design and construction of airports to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past. “Airlines should develop responsive crisis management systems and file their Operation Disruption Manuals with NCAA as required by law. “Domestic airlines and operators were encouraged to enter into interlining arrangements.” According to him, it was further agreed that requests from stakeholders/airlines for the provision of 24 hours operations at daylight airports should be forwarded to FAAN backed with economic realities on a sustainable level. He said against this backdrop, all airlines were, therefore, warned to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings with passengers. “Passengers must get value for their money. “While the NCAA and FAAN are doing everything to resolve all the issues enumerated, flight delays and cancellations will not be acceptable,” he said.
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