British aviation regulator reports Air Peace to NCAA claiming it breached safety regulations

BRITISH aviation authorities have reported Air Peace to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Abuja claiming that the airline has been violating safety regulations at Gatwick Airport where it operates its London-Lagos operation from.

Under the terms of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (Basa) between the UK and Nigeria, Air Peace obtained the UK Third Country Operator authorisation to fly into Britain. Consequently on March 30 this year, its maiden Lagos to London flight landed at Gatwick Airport and was received by a team of diaporans led by the acting high commissioner Ambassador Cyprian Heen.

However, less than three months after operations began, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) has reported the airline to the NCAA, claiming it violated some safety regulations. Since Air Peace began its operations, there have been series of aero politics between the airline and the traditional operators on the UK-Nigeria route like Virgin and BA.

Offering flights at just £672, which was about half of what Virgin was charging, with its seats going for £1,292, Air Peace upset the applecart, forcing all the other airlines to slash their prices too. There have been allegations of the British aviation authorities withholding winter slots from Air Peace and deliberate operational interference by Gatwick Airport aimed at disrupting the carrier’s operations..

Things have now gone a step further, as over the weekend, two mandatory occurrence reports on Air Peace were sent to UKCAA, which it in turn, forwarded to the NCAA. The UK regulator’s letters of complaint forwarded to NCAA were titled United Kingdom SAFA Ramp Inspection Report with reference number: CAA-UK, -2024-0217 and NATS Management System Safety Report, respectively.

Upon receiving the report, the NCAA has written to Air Peace, asking the airline to provide clarification on the issues raised by the UK regulator. In the letter, the NCAA said the UK CAA had called its attention to the no operational approval of electronic flight bag (EFB) functions affecting the safe operation of the aircraft, while adding that the captain of the flight admitted that an EFB was being used for navigational purposes.

Also, the NCAA further noted that the UK CAA stated in one of its letters that there was no mounting device for the use of EFB and no charging points or battery for backup. Air Peace will be expected to respond to the letters in due course.