FG to clamp down on illegal jet operations, uncertified pilots

The minister of aviation and aerospace, Festus Keyamo says the Nigerian government will arrest and sanction illegal flights and non-certified personnel.

Keyamo made this disclosure in an interview on Channels Television on April 14.

According to the minister, the federal government has received credible information about them and would not hesitate to persecute them.

He said new private jet owners approach aviation regulators to request approval to use their aircraft to fly family or friends, however, after obtaining the required licence, they begin commercial flights

And we give them very low fee paydays. The moment you give them, they begin to carry passengers all over Nigeria, doing six or eight flights a day. And nobody checked them before I came,” Keyamo said.

“This is a notice to them on camera. I am coming for them. I am coming for them because the president has given us marching orders. We are not going to allow this to happen.

“First of all, in terms of the regulation, tracking them, making sure passengers that you carry are safe, regulating them and all that is low. Secondly, you are cheating the federal government. It is economic sabotage and I’m not going to allow that to happen.

“So people who are even my friends or friends of Mr. President, we are going to come hard on all of them, ground their planes, withdraw their licences and come very hard on them.

“We are not going to allow that to happen. And I’m about to do something on that, and guess what? I’m tying it down to the issue of training and retraining because it’s in most of these private aircraft you now see those people who have not gone for their normal routine training, they are the ones flying them (private aircraft).

“We have a complicity within the system. People who are also supposed to check and carry out sting operations on them do not.”

Keyamo also said he has received intelligence on persons involved, adding that in a matter of days or weeks, his ministry will go hard on them.

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