The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday expressed satisfaction with telecoms operators’ compliance with its directive on Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) in erecting masts across the country. NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said that the high compliance level by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators was impressive.
He said: “Periodically, we usually have meetings with the network providers and the level of compliance has been high. From time to time, when they are erecting masts here and there, they do apply for permits and our people will go and inspect. I don’t have the specific number of permits issued so far but I can tell you that there is high level of compliance because they know if an aircraft makes contact with any high rise structure it will be disastrous.”
The directive is part of NCAA’s oversight responsibilities which is principally to ensure safety and security of flight operations within Nigeria’s airspace. The authority directed that AHC permits were obtained before the construction of towers, telecommunication masts, high rise buildings/structures and landing facilities.
According to him, the directive is in line with the Civil Aviation Act. 2006 Part IX (30) (L) which empowers the authority to prohibit, regulate and remove any structure which, by virtue of its height or position, is considered to endanger the safety of aircraft operations.
Adegboyega said that the Civil Aviation Act 2006 Part IX (30) (K) stipulates that the authority would grant and certify licences for the construction of helipads, helidecks, and heliports.
“These landing facilities include construction of the helipad, helideck for civil use and heliports. It is, therefore, an exercise in illegality to operate into a heliport (surface level, elevated or helideck) without the approval of the authority, ” Adurogboye said.