Airline operators fault FG over suspension of DanaHeadlines Thursday, June 7th, 2012
The Airline Operators of Nigeria has faulted the Federal Government’s suspension of the operations of Dana Air following the crash of its Boeing aircraft in Lagos on Sunday.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, the Secretary General, AON, Captain Mohammed Joji, said it was wrong for the Senate to have called for the suspension of the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren.
Joji said it was wrong to have asked Demuren to step aside while investigation was being conducted since he would not in any way hinder the investigation of the accident, which killed 153 passengers and crew members on board.
The Senate had, while considering a motion brought by the Chairman of its Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, recommended that Demuren and other top management officials of NCAA be suspended until the investigations were concluded.
But Joji said it was wrong to make such a recommendation before the investigation was concluded by the Accident Investigation Bureau, which is independent of NCAA, since Demuren had no power to influence its work.
He also faulted the suspension of the operating licence of the Dana by the Federal Government through the NCAA on Monday.
Joji said it was necessary for investigation to be carried out before far reaching actions, such as the suspension of the airline’s operations would be carried out.
He said, “It is wrong to close down an airline after an accident before investigation has been done. It is necessary to give time for investigation.
“Dana has three aircraft. One was involved in an accident. They fly 27 sorties (return trips) a day. Everything went well from 2007 when they started operations. It is not enough to suspend their operation after this incident.
“We are not supporting wrong doing but we need to be objective. It could have been another airline. The country has lost so much through the insecurity situation. Do you say because of that the President or any of the service chiefs should resign?”
The AON secretary general said the proper thing would be to allow the AIB that has the statutory responsibility to investigate accidents in the airline industry to do its work and then the government could base any action to be taken on the result of the investigation.
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