The Acting Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Joyce Nkemakolam on Thursday said that the aircraft his agency grounded does not belong to the Rivers State government.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Nkemakolam said “that aircraft from our file does not belong to Rivers State government.”
He said that his agency’s decision to ground the airplane is a “normal occurrence” and that the issue has been blown out of proportion.
The aviation authority boss said it is unfortunate the issue is getting so much interest within the public domain.
The clearance papers of the aircraft belonging to Bank of Salt Lake City USA had expired on April 2 but this was only discovered on 25th which led to it being grounded at the Akure airport.
Mr. Nkemakolam argued that the lapse in administration is no fault of his organisation as the agency only acts as a regulator and that it is under the purview of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to deal with the violation.
“We give you a license and we expect you to abide by the spirits of the contents of that license; we don’t go running after people,” he said.
“We had thought that aircraft had left.”
He also disclosed that Carveton Helicopters, the agent of the foreign aircraft as shown by its clearance document, has in a letter written to the NCAA denied having any involvement with the plane.