Governor Amaechi’s Controversial Aircraft Banned from Flying in Nigeria
The plane which was on Friday temporarily grounded in Akure, the Ondo state capital by NCAA for the inability of the pilot to provide the manifest of the plane is suspended due to what the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) described as the expiration of its operating license..
The Acting Director General of NCAA, Joyce Nkemakolam, at a press conference on Saturday, described her address as the “status of the controversial aircraft operated by governor Amaechi.”
According to Mrs Nkemakolam “the aircraft, a bombardier –BD700, global express with registration no N565 RS has its clearance approval expired since Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013.”
“The controversial aircraft on the service of Governor Rotimi Amaechi is operating illegally in the country” the NCAA boss stated.
“The aircraft, a bombardier –BD700, global express with registration no N565 RS has its clearance approval expired since Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013.”
“By our records, the last flight clearance for this aircraft was approved for operation on Thursday, March 28, 2013 on Accra-PH –Accra and to terminate on April 2, 2013. With this development, the aircraft has exceeded the extra two days or 48 hours leeway for it to leave the country.”
The NCAA boss further noted that “while still operating illegally, the aircraft has been sighted in several places including Owerri and Akure.”
“The owner of this aircraft according to the certificate of registration is Bank of Utah, trustee of Salt Lake City, Utah USA. The clearance for the aircraft was sought by Cavernton Helicopters on March 27, 2013.”
“Consequently, this aircraft in reference is hereby grounded at any airport that is located right now in the country” she announced.
Meanwhile, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers has spoken out about the circumstances surrounding Friday’s grounding of the state-owned aircraft by the National Airspace Management Agency.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor, the governor, in a statement, described the entire saga as shameful and ludicrous.
Read the entire statement below.
David Iyofor explained that the pilot of the plane in question did all that was required of him by the management of the Akure airport just as he did in all the other airports they used before landing at the Akure airport.
Iyofor further stated that the governor’s spokesperson maintained that the decision of the Controller of the Akure Airport to ground the bombardier jet over issues relating to customs papers infuriated the pilot and he enquired on whose orders the plane was grounded, he was asked to contact the managing director of NAMA.
Mr Iyofor described NAMA’s explanation as blatant lies and challenged the agency and aviation authorities to explain to Nigerians why an aircraft belonging to the Rivers state government which flew the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal as well as an elected governor of a state who is also the chairman of the Nigerian governors’ forum would be grounded at an airport for no just cause.
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