With the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum given to operators in Nigeria, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated that it would begin the nationwide demolition of telecom masts across the country.
The telecommunications masts, most of which belongs to Globacom Nigeria, will be demolished after the operators failed to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) for their masts as directed by the Authority.
In a statement released and signed by the Authority’s spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, the demolition exercise will also affect some banks and financial institutions who have discountenanced the Authority’s regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecomm operators against violation of safety regulations. A 30-day ultimatum was therefore handed down for compliance.
This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 126.96.36.199.3.1 which stipulates that No person or organisation shall put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organisation is a holder of Aviation Height Clearance Certificate granted under this regulation.
In line with this, the Regulatory Authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation in the country irrespective of the height and location.
It should therefore be noted that under the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, section 30(3) (1), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.
While some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts, others have failed to do same.
The telecommunication operators who have not regularised their masts are as follows :- Globacom Nigeria 7,012 masts, United Bank of Africa 439 masts, Guaranty Trust Bank 295 masts, Unity Bank 217 masts and Sterling Bank 159 masts.
Others are Union Bank 92 masts, First City Monument Bank 205 masts, Fidelity Bank 83 masts and Access Bank 303 masts.
Therefore, a total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned forthwith.