From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
After months of gerry meandering, Capt Muhtar Usman finally assumed office as Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Lagos with a declaration that his administration would focus on Safety, Security and Comfort in the conduct of flight operations in and out of Nigerian airspace.
In achieving this, he said he would be guided by Annexes of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) and other appropriate legislation and conventions in line with international standard.
Capt Usman commended the management and staff of the Authority for the hard work he said must have been put in for the retention of the American Federal Aviation Administration[FAA] International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category One.
This has qualified Nigerian Registered Aircraft from flying directly to the Continental United States. He said at the brief ceremony.
He solicited for the support and co operation of all the staffers of the Authority for the achievement of the three point Agenda.
Earlier, the former Acting Director General and Director Airworthiness Standards (DAWS) Benedict Adeyileka handed over a prepared notes detailing the activities of the Authority to the new DG.
He explained that the handover notes listed all the Directorates and their activities, Various Committees that have been raised and their job functions, Operating Airlines and their major routes, List of Airline Operating Certificate (AOC) holders, List of AOCs issued within his acting period. The handover notes also contained a brief on the Authority preparation ahead of the upcoming ICAO audit to which there is no date yet. The good news, he said was that NCAA is in full compliance in all ICAO critical elements, except in two areas that he said we would need to be buckled up.
Adeyileka also touched on all the challenges confronting the Authority in areas of being able to retained skilled and qualified staff in sufficient numbers, indebtedness to the Authority by Airlines, shortage of accommodation for staff, Shortage of funds for training and the ongoing efforts to review the subsisting Service Charge.
Apart from pledging his readiness to shed more light as may be required on all issues, the Director of Airworthiness however pledged the loyalty and support by all staff of the Authority and wish him a successful tenure.
Capt Usman’s aviation career dates back to 1981 at the College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria in Kaduna State, where as a flying instructor, he was involved in the training of students pilots from basics to attain commercial pilot license, multi engine and instrument ratings.
He had a Diploma in Aeronautical Electronics and Telecommunication and a City and Guilds certificate in Radio, Television, Electronics and Telecommunications.
The new DG/CEO later bagged his qualification as a Commercial Pilot with multi engine and Instrument ratings from Burnside – Ott Aviation Training Centre, Miami, United States of America in 1978.
Besides, he also qualified as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer in Miami in 1980,and capped with a Flying Instructor s’ rating at Oxford Air Training School, United Kingdom in 1982.
He is currently a B737 pilot and has acquired over 8000 hours in his professional career.
Capt Usman, who until the current appointment, the Commissioner and CEO of the Accident Investigation Bureau[AIB], has undergone various types of trainings locally and abroad on Aviation Safety, Management and Operations has also undertook various assignments that broadened his knowledge, capacity and capability for the current assignment.