Nigeria Retains US, FAA Category One Status

Nigeria has scaled through a recent re-certification audit conducted on its aviation facilities by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A team of auditors from the FAA had visited Nigeria for the audit of the safety status of the country’s civil aviation industry in November 2017. The audit was for the Category One (Cat 1) certification that enables direct flight connections between the US and other countries.

Daily Sun learnt that the FAA Administrator, Mr. Dan Elwell, had conveyed the message of the country scaling the audit exercise to the Director General/CEO of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman. It was also learnt that a fresh certification from the FAA on the new status would be issued the country before the end of March 2018.

The –re-certification status will enable Nigerian registered carriers to continue to fly directly to the United States of America. There are eight critical elements required to be fulfilled before a country can scale the FAA audit.

The eight critical elements are: legislation, regulations, organisations, technical staff, technical guidance tools, licensing, continuous surveillance and resolution of safety concerns. While in Nigeria, the FAA had carried out intensive internal aviation safety assessment of the sector and there were fears that Nigeria may not retain the status it earned in September 2010.

Nigeria it was gathered retained the status after NCAA, and other major agencies in the sector closed all the identified “open items” when the FAA team visited Nigeria in August, 2017 to lodge complaints of some lapses in its regulatory oversight function.

The FAA team had returned to Nigeria on November 30, 2017 to verify if the country had closed all the identified open items. An email specifically signed and sent by the FAA Administrator, Mr. Dan Elwell to the NCAA CEO said that, “Nigeria had continued to meet the safety oversight requirements under the international aviation standards.”

Source: Sun