The Nigerian CAA have rejected a recent application from helicopter operators to commence night flying in the West African cuontry.Â Director-General, Dr Harold Demuren, confirmed the situation during a meeting with major oil companies and helicopter operators in his office in Lagos – including representatives from the Directorate of Petroleum Regulations, Total, Chevron Oil, ConOil, Exxom Mobil, Nigerian National Petroleum, Caverton Helicopters, Pan African Aero Contractors and Bristow Helicopters.
The situation appears to be stalemate.Â Demuren said that he would reconsider the request after a full review and identification of all masts, buildings and high-rise objects, as well as “proper surveillance and charting of the airspace”.Â Once these are in place, the Nigerian CAA will then work out the requirements for the night operations.Â Demuren started by asking those attending the meeting to supply him with details of all helipads and heli-decks, their respective locations, equipment in use at various locations and navigational aids in use.
Demuren also committed to remove any barriers that could cause a delay within the CAA to progressing the drive to night operations.Â The operators were also seeking clarification as to who will bear the cost of the impending re-certification of the hundreds of helipads and helicopters – hoping that the statutory annual inspection fees they were already paying would cover the one-off exercise of getting everthing in place, as well as the ongoing approval as new pads and aircraft are brought on stream.
We hold our breath on this – expecting it will take many years.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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