The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the operations of all the Boeing 737s of Azman Air Services Limited, with effect from March 15, 2021.
The aviation regulatory body took the measure following series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 Aircraft, just as the agency disclosed that it acted pursuant to Section 35 (2) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 188.8.131.52 (A) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015.
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu stated that the suspension was to enable the authority to conduct an audit of the airline to determine the root cause(s) of the incidents and recommend corrective actions to forestall re-occurrence. According to Nuhu, “The NCAA regrets the inconvenience this action may cause to the public, particularly to Azman air passengers but the need to ensure the safety of Air Transport and protect the public interest, cannot be compromised.” He further stated that the NCAA would continue to ensure compliance with its regulations in the interest of safety and would view any violation(s) seriously.
AirInsight gathered that the decision to suspend the airline was taken at a management meeting of NCAA on Monday after one of the company’s planes recorded a second tire burst in a month. An Azman Air flight from Kaduna to Murtala Muhammad airport in Lagos had a landing gear problem which has become frequent with the airline. The aviation regulatory agency faulted the pilot that flew the aircraft from Kaduna as a loud noise was noticed after takeoff, and despite that, he continued with the journey. The NCAA DG on Monday after the meeting directed a letter to be written to the airline suspending its operations.
It should be recalled that a Boeing 737-500 aircraft belonging to AZMAN Air had a burst tire on landing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport terminal in Lagos on February 16th, 2021. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) temporarily closed the runway. A FAAN statement read: “FAAN has announced a temporary closure of Runway 18R/36L at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos. The closure is due to a landing incident involving a Boeing 737 Azman Air aircraft with registration 5N SYS, and flight number ZQ2325. The aircraft had a tire burst after landing on this runway. All passengers and crew on board the aircraft were safely evacuated at 1908 hours”.
When contacted, AZMAN Airline General Manager, Malam Muhammad Lawan told our correspondent on Tuesday that he was in a meeting and promised to call back immediately after.
The aviation industry in Nigeria is experiencing a steady increase of tire bursts by aircraft particularly on the B737 aircraft which form 80 percent of aircraft types used in the country. Just last week an Air Peace aircraft was involved in a serious tire burst after landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The aircraft, with 127 passengers and six crew members onboard was en-route Lagos from Abuja, when the plane had a burst tire on landing on Runway 18R of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and taxied to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) to park.