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Uganda Civil Aviation in Nigeria for lessons on Airport Certification

A three member management team from Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority have arrived Nigeria to understand the process which the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) followed, to attain the United States' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One Status, which Nigeria attained in 2010 and which when attained allows the country's carriers to fly directly to the U.S.

Members of the team were: Mr. Hope Kamus, John Buninon and Fred Lutab, all managers in Safety Management System from Uganda CAA.

The team, which visited the headquarters of NCAA on the three-day visit to the agency planned to see how it successfully piloted Nigeria to attain FAA's Category One status.

The trio was received on behalf of the Director-General, NCAA by Director, Air Safety, Alhaji Lawal Haruna, as they commenced their study of the processes in the agency

It could be recalled that Nigeria through the NCAA attained the American FAA Category One Status in August 2010 after going through it for three years.

To attain the status, a country is required to close all the eight critical requirements and satisfied with the equipment and personnel on ground.

The eight critical elements are Civil Aviation Law, Civil Aviation Regulations, Technical Guidance Material, Qualified Technical Personnel, Civil Aviation Authority Structure and Oversight Functions, Licensing and Certification, Continuing Surveillance Obligations as well as Resolution of Safety Issues /Enforcement.

At present, six African countries have achieved CAT One and they are Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria.

It is a per-requisite for countries to operate direct flights to the USA and it is usually approved by the FAA. This is done by meeting the country's International Aviation Safety Assessment, IASA Category One.

To achieve category one status of the FAA, it takes assessed countries five years, but Nigeria attained it in three years.

By Martha Momoh
3 May 2012

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