The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had on Tuesday declared that any travel agency operating without registering with the authority was violating the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, made the clarification in a statement issued in Lagos. Adurogboye said the controversy in certain quarters of absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies was misguided.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) confers power on NCAA to register and issue certificates to travel agencies, without which no travel agency shall operate in Nigeria. “Part 18.9.1 (iii) of (Nig.CARs) unequivocally and incontrovertibly states that no person shall undertake the business of travel agency in Nigeria without obtaining a Certificate or License issued by the NCAA.
“As a corollary to this, Part 18.104.22.168 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) 2015 states that all travel agencies shall register with the authority after fulfilling the necessary requirements specified in IS22.214.171.124 (iii) to these regulations,” he said. Adurogboye explained that the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, Part IX, Section 30 (4) (a) inter-alia empowers NCAA to regulate, supervise and monitor the activities of travel and other aviation agents operating in the country.
According to him, to join the IATA BSP, Part 126.96.36.199. of the NCARs states that all registered travel agencies shall join and trade on IATA BSP Platform. He said it was important to note that the fulfilment of the aforementioned regulation Part 188.8.131.52 was a mandatory requirement for IATA to accept a travel agency on its BSP platform.
The NCAA spokesperson stated that travel agents can only commence business on the IATA BSP platform after the registration has been duly completed.
Adurogboye noted said these measures were put in place by NCAA in order to ensure orderliness in the operations of travel agencies in the country. “We will be collaborating with IATA to provide a robust regulatory oversight on this sector of aviation downstream operations. “All IATA accredited agents have 60 days within which to register and obtain NCAAs Certificate of Registration. This ultimatum commenced from May 7,” he said.
Peaking further, Adurogboye hinted that IATA has been given directives accredit any agency without NCAA’s Certificate of Registration. He noted that the authority would continue to carry out its regulatory oversight in all facets of air transport operations with all the seriousness that was required.