The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has confirmed the suspension of Azman Air over the inability to provide the required documents for the renewal of its air transport licence (ATL).
Musa Nuhu, director-general of NCAA, said this on Thursday.
On Thursday, reports emerged that the regulator suspended Azman Air’s operating certificate (AOC), but the NCCA DG said it only suspended the airline’s ATL due to debt.
Nuhu said one of the critical documents is the tax certificate, which the airline could not provide because it failed to remit ticket and cargo sales charges amounting to N1.2 billion to the NCAA.
The ticket sales charge (TSC) and cargo sales charge (CSC) are collected from travellers by the airlines.
The TSC/CSC is shared among five aviation agencies: NCAA, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
The NCAA gets 58 percent out of the total five percent of TSC/CSC.
“We didn’t suspend Azman Air’s AOC but suspended their ATL, which had earlier expired. The ATL earlier expired in April 2021, but we gave the airline extension because of the disruption to aviation activities by the COVID-19 pandemic, just as we did for other airlines too. However, we wrote a reminder letter to the airline six months to the new expiring date, which is statutory,” Nuhu said.
“Later, the airline requested another extension of 90 days, but we only granted it 60 days, and at the expiration of the 60 days, we also gave it 30 days reminder, which elapsed on Wednesday night, yet nothing was done by the airline.
“Besides, the airline owed us N1.2 billion as TSC/CSC. We invited them and set up a committee for that purpose. Azman said they would pay the sum of N10 million monthly out of the debt, which we refused. They later came up to N20 million, but we insist on N50 million monthly.
“If we had agreed the N10 million monthly, it means it will take them about 12 years to repay the money it had already collected and by then, the money would have lost value.”
The NCAA DG said the regulator would not renew ATL or AOC of any other airline owing the agency five percent TSC/CSC and appealed to other operators to pay up the backlog of debts.
In July 2022, NCAA kicked off a financial and economic health audit of airlines.
In the same month, it suspended Dana Airlines’ air transport licence (ATL) and air operator certificate (AOC).
NCAA had said the audit was in line with sections 35(2), 3(b), and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 126.96.36.199(a)(1) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (http://Nig.CARs), 2015.