Nigeria News

Nigeria: Reps kick over resumption of Dana Air operations

Aminu TambuwalThe House of Representatives on Monday kicked against the resumption of air services by Dana Air.

Its Committee on Aviation expressed concern that the Federal Government allowed the airline to resume operations in spite of the many unresolved issues arising from the June 3, 2012 crash of one of the airline’s aircraft.

The Chairman of the committee, Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, stated in Abuja that the problem of air safety and the payment of compensations to the families of the victims of the crash had yet to be resolved.

Onyejeocha added that the committee shared the displeasure of many Nigerians, who were equally surprised that Dana Air was allowed to resume services.

“The Committee is particularly worried that all issues relating to the crash have not been resolved, including the payment of compensation to victims, air safety and sundry issues,” the committee noted.

The 163 crew and passengers aboard the ill-fated plane died in the air mishap in a Lagos suburb last year.

The Senate/House Joint Committee on Aviation had investigated the accident and recommended that Dana Air be banned from operating in Nigeria.

The committee also recommended the reorganisation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for allegedly lacking the competence to guarantee air safety in Nigeria.

The House had endorsed the report of the committee and recommended the dismissal and prosecution of the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Harold Damuren, for “criminal negligence.”

One of the findings of the committee was that the NCAA had no certified engineer who specialises in the aircraft operated by Dana Air.

Part of the report read, “For the period under review, Dana operated 14 air returns caused by system failure, which is a sufficient indication of imminent danger.

“Up to the time of this report, NCAA is still without any licensed engineer type-rated on MD83 (the type operated by Dana), yet it is going ahead with technical audit on Dana operations with a view to restoring its licence.

“This constitutes negligence.”

However, the committee assured Nigerians that the House would look into the matter when members would have reconvened on January 16.

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