Air-First Nigeria Limited, the operator of the light single-engine aircraft, turbo 5N-CCQ which crashed in Lagos State, has shut down its website revealing a top government official, Engineer Gbolahan Abatan as its owner.
Abatan is the Director of the Airworthiness Standards of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
On Tuesday, the plane with two passengers on board crash-landed into an old communication pole inward Ikeja Bus Stop on Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja Lagos, around 4 pm.
The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) described the aircraft as “a Jabiru J430, a light single aeroplane with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-CCQ operated by Air First Hospitality & Tours.”
Our Correspondent’s check on Air First’s website, https://www.airfirst.com.ng, on Wednesday morning, showed that the company is privately owned by Abatan.
“Gbolahan Abatan- President/CEO. A professional Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with over 21 years of experience in the job also, he is a private Pilot, and he is currently the President & Chief Executive Officer of AirFirst Nigeria Limited (AFNL) and AirFirst Maintenance & Engineering (AFME),” info about Abatan on the website before it was shut down had read.
“He is well experienced in the aviation sector. His experience covers areas such as avionics, airframes and engines. His professional Licenses & Aircraft Type Ratings include a Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority License issued in 1988, a Federal Aviation Authority License – Application Being Processed, and FAA & NCAA Airman Private Pilot License, among others.
Crashed Aircraft Company, Air First Shuts Down Website Which Revealed Nigerian Civil Aviation Director, Gbolahan Abatan As Owner.
“He has a series of Aircraft Type Ratings in HS-125 Series Land Plane, Embraer 120 Land Plane, Cessna 172 Land Plane, Cessna Caravan 208/208B Land Plane, and Air Tractor 502B.
“He has headed the Maintenance units of various aviation outfits where major aircraft maintenance was carried out successfully up to D- the check level. He was also involved in aircraft interior refurbishment, painting, modifications etc.”
However, another Thursday morning check on the private company’s website showed it was down.
The NCAA, of which Abatan is a director, was established by decree 49 of 1999 as Nigeria’s regulatory body for aviation. It became autonomous with the passing into law of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 by the National Assembly and the assent of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Act not only empowers the Authority to regulate Aviation Safety without political interference but also to carry out oversight functions of Airports, Airspace, Meteorological Services, etc., as well as economic regulations of the industry.
The agency is also expected to provide aviation safety and economic regulation in the most efficient, effective, quality and technology-driven manner to the satisfaction and benefit of all stakeholders, consistent with the highest international standards and the sustainable development of the industry and national economy.
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