Pilots, engineers ask FG to quicken inauguration of Nigeria Air

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers has asked the Federal Government to quicken the inauguration of Nigeria Air.

The association said the Federal Government should quickly remove all obstacles on the path of the new national carrier so that it could become operational.

“The urgent need to inaugurate the Nigeria Air requires no further restating. It is considered a great disservice to hesitate, or delay, this laudable project any further, considering the rich harvest of gains expected from the coming on stream of the national carrier,” the association said.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting and signed by its General Secretary, Ocheme Aba, NAAPE also called for a review of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s policy on pilots’ simulation training.

According to the association, the situation where after training, a pilot’s simulator certificate’s ownership is vested in the airline where he works, is a form of slave labour and denies pilots the right to their intellectual property.

It added, “Besides, this situation has created a chaotic atmosphere where pilots who have been relieved of their employment through redundancy and other means by various airlines are unable to secure other employment with their pilot’s simulator certificate even as such certificates are current.

“The present policy connotes that a valid certificate may be invalidated within its validity period. This contravenes the periodic renewal policy. It also does incalculable damage to the holder, and no good to any party.”

Among other issues, the association also commended the Federal Government on the Executive Order No 5.

It stated that having reviewed the content, principles and objectives of the Order, which reinforced the Expatriate Quota Policy and the Local Content Act for the purpose of assuring that qualified Nigerians were given preference for Nigerian generated employment opportunities, it found it laudable and timely.

NAAPE said the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, should urgently set up a high calibre monitoring committee for the implementation and enforcement of the Order in the aviation sector, in view of the present prevalence of non-committal to the Order within the sector.
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