Helicopter operators threaten to suspend operations over landing fees

Adebisi Aikulola
Adebisi Aikulola
Caverton Helicopter

Following the Federal Government’s decision to grant exclusive rights to NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited to collect helicopter landing levies at all aerodromes in the country, helicopter operators have threatened to cease operations due to the increase in landing fees by the federal government.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Ado Sanusi, who spoke to newsmen, warned that operators may likely shut down their operations over the increase or seek legal action.

He said the helipads where helicopters land and take off in offshore operations were owned by international oil companies, explaining that because they were not the property of the federal government, operators paid their due charges to aviation agencies.

He said: “I don’t think it is a good thing to do because the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, recommended that service providers in the aviation industry, which are government agencies, should engage in cost recovery, but unfortunately, the government has turned the agencies into profit-making organisations in the aviation industry.” Sanusi argued that security and knowing all the helipads in Nigeria were the duty of the National Security Adviser, the NSA, the Air Force, and related security agencies, insisting that it had nothing to do with civil aviation.

Recall that in a memo recently released by the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, and directed to all operators and stakeholders of civilian helicopter operators in Nigeria, the Minister granted exclusive right to NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited to collect Helicopter Landing Levies.

The memo read in part: “It is imperative that all operators and stakeholders fully comply with this mandate, by granting total access to Messrs NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of this levy, effective immediately.

“Non-compliance with this directive will constitute a breach of this mandate and will be met with appropriate sanction.”

Keyamo also stated that the Ministry will enforce compliance without exception and will pursue all available remedies against any party that fails to adhere to this directive.

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