The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has discovered some unapproved JET A1 marketers who have infiltrated Nigerian airports and are supplying the commodity to unsuspecting airlines.
It made this discovery while investigating the source of jet fuel contamination, of which Max Air was a victim.
The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, in a Zoom meeting with aviation correspondents on Thursday, revealed that the infiltration of unregistered marketers was discovered during a meeting with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission/Department of Petroleum Resources.
These unregistered fuel suppliers, he noted, were operating at Nigeria’s airports illegally.
He said the Authority was furnished with a list of approved aviation fuel companies by the DPR, but discovered that some suppliers currently operating at the airports were not on the list.
He however said the NCAA planned to intimate the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria about the development with a view to barring the illegal operators.
He said, “Investigation is ongoing, we are doing this in collaboration with the DPR and we have got the list of all companies approved by the DPR; we found out that some were not approved, we will write FAAN about this to ensure they withdraw their services until they meet all requirements.
“Any Jet A1 supplier must be approved because it needs a lot of standards. Although, there was a gap between the DPR and NCAA, that has been closed. The issue of fuel contamination is not acceptable; no international airline has also reported fuel contamination but it is an alarming thing that needs to be looked into. We have set up a committee comprising representatives of relevant agencies to look at the entire system and make recommendations. But, it is still the responsibility of the airline, the pilot to check his fuel.”
Also, a reliable source who would not want to be quoted in the NCAA, said the Authority identified the companies involved in the recent sale of contaminated aviation fuel to MaxAir.
According to the source who pleaded anonymity, “The three oil companies that sold the fuel have been identified in the course of its investigation.”
The DG-CA also made comments on the Jabiru Aircraft crash which occurred in Lagos earlier in the week.
Nuhu expressed displeasure over what he termed unprofessional comments about the accident, stating that the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau had the capability to investigate the cause of the crash.
He said, “I cannot comment on the cause. It is very unfortunate and it was just by the grace of God that it wasn’t disastrous. I have full confidence in the ability of the NSIB, people should avoid mere speculation, NSIB will release the report very shortly but what I have found disappointing is the comments against the Director, Airworthiness Services.
“The. Director of Airworthiness is very competent and before he was seconded to the NCAA, he had a life, he does not own the aircraft. He submitted letters of resignations from all the companies he worked for; he is even the one that has identified some of these illegal fuel companies, despite unnessary dragging of his name.”