The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has declared zero tolerance to flight cancellations and delays both of which have become the practice of most airlines in the country.

The agency’s General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, stated today that the declaration was made at a stakeholder’s forum organised in Lagos.

According to him, 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 amongst which are: fuel supply, need for improvement in infrastructure at the airport, unruly passengers and traffic along airport road, among other concerns.

The management of the NCAA and FAAN assured the operators that the challenges would be addressed very soon.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the airlines should be realistic in their flight planning/schedules; always disseminate on time information to passengers on flight status, and ensure they provide right to care to passengers in times of delays/cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19.

Other decisions taken at the meeting include, the NCAA/FAAN will liaise with FMTA to replace fuel hydrants if the old ones will cost a lot of money to be fixed and the supply points will be connected to the airports; and that FAAN/airport operators/owners should ensure facilities at the airports are functional (lightings, carousels, cooling systems etc).

In addition, it was also decided that FMTA should liaise with PPMC on fixing the underground pipeline layout from Apapa to Lagos airport to minimize surface transportation of fuel; FAAN should beef up security at the airports to prevent unlawful interference; and that the airlines’ representatives should be available to testify whenever cases of unruly passengers are referred to the Nigeria Police Force.

The representative of FAAN Management to ensure that action is expedited on the upgrade of lighting on Runway 18L/36R (MMIA), airlines and airport operators should maintain constant Communication; and that airlines should always request for re-imbursement of expenses incurred from third parties/service providers with whom they signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as stipulated by the Nig. CARs Part 19, amongst others.

Against this backdrop, the NCAA warned all airlines to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings with passengers, insisting that passengers must get value for their money.

The authority added that it would join forces with FAAN to do everything possible to resolve all the issues enumerated, as flight delays and cancellations will not be acceptable.

The forum was attended by 13 international airlines, 8 domestic airlines, and Airport operators – the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services.