In a letter conveying the sanction, the Director General of the regulatory agency, Capt. Muhtar Usman, said the action of the airline in allowing the use of a ladder to disembark passengers from a Boeing 737-500 aircraft in a non-emergency situation, was contrary to its approved aircraft handling manual.
“Therefore this is a violation of Part 188.8.131.52(b) of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, which attracts a civil penalty.
“All relevant agencies made useful submissions during the course of the investigation,” NCAA said in a statement yesterday.
The director general also said in the letter that “in view of the safety implications of your action you are hereby sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Part 20.2.3(15) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation.”
NCAA noted that although the incident did not result in any mishap, the aircraft was airworthy and the crew qualified to operate the flight.
“However, it is viewed as a breach and resultantly a fine running into millions of naira has been clamped on the airline to serve as deterrence and to forestall any similar infraction by any other airline operator,” the director general said.
In addition, the captain of the flight was fined for failing to comply with the provisions contained in the aircraft manual.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) therefore wishes to reiterate its earlier warning that all airlines should endeavour to adhere strictly to Civil Aviation Regulations,” NCAA added.