NCAA urges telecoms operators to offset outstanding debts

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Wednesday advised telecommunications operators, who are yet to remit their outstanding payments to the agency, to do so without further delay.

The Director General of the agency, Capt. Muhtar Usman, gave the advice yesterday at a meeting with the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) in Lagos.

Usman said that under the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (Establishment) Act, Section 7(1) (n), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.

“Therefore, pursuant to the above provision, the regulatory authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every high-rise structure, mast, tower installation, irrespective of the height and location.

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“According to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), Part, the AHC shall remain in force for a period of one year when it shall be due for renewal unless suspended or cancelled by the authority.

“Similarly, the holder of an AHC certificate shall ensure proper records of AHC granted to it and the renewal of the AHC at least 30 days to the expiry date,” he said in a statement signed by agency’s spokesman, Mr. Sam Adurogboye.

Usman noted that ALTON had requested for the meeting to resolve certain perceived grey areas, including that AHC should be a one-off exercise and that no renewals and structures for AHC should be selective.

He expressed dissatisfaction at the directive by the association to its members to cease payments until when all matters have been resolved.

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Usman said NCAA, as a law-abiding organisation, had been reluctant to review the fees for so many years, even when the reality at inception of the charges had considerably changed.

According to him, the NCAA will continue to carry out surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace to ensure sustenance of safety of air navigation.

He said, “Nig.CARs Part stipulates that the authority shall use all legal means of ensuring the removal of any structure(s) which are erected or constructed without compliance with the provision of these regulations.”

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