Festus Keyamo Launches Task Force to Combat Illegal Activities in Private Aircraft Operations

Festus Keyamo, SAN, the minister of aviation and aerospace development, has raised concerns about the use of private aircraft for money laundering, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities.
Speaking during the inauguration of an eight-member ministerial task force on illegal private chartered operations in Abuja on Thursday, Keyamo emphasized the need for stringent regulation of private aircraft operations.
According to Odutayo Oluseyi, spokesperson for the ministry, “Keyamo said the operations of private aircraft owners have remained largely unchecked and unregulated, as evidenced by security reports highlighting a spike in money laundering, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities using private aircraft in Nigeria.”
The minister, compelled to act decisively after consultations with regulators and stakeholders in the aviation industry, set up the task force. Keyamo urged its members to work diligently to restore confidence in the aviation sector, eliminate illegal operations, and ensure that all flights in the country’s skies adhere to the highest standards of safety and legality.
The task force, comprising individuals of high repute and integrity from within and outside the aviation industry, has been assigned the following terms of reference:
– Take inventory of all Private Non-commercial Flight (PNCF) holders and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders.
– Determine why illegal charters by PNCF holders persist despite regulatory controls.
– Verify the authenticity and validity of all professional licenses of pilots and crew in the country.
– Recommend additional measures for regulatory agencies to curb illegal activities.
– Suggest appropriate sanctions for defaulters.
– Propose further measures to monitor private aircraft operations in Nigeria.
The task force members include Capt. Ado Sanusi as chairman, Capt. Roland Iyayi as vice chairman, the acting director of Air Transport at the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development as secretary, Theresa Babayo from DAYR-NCAA as a member, a nominee from the national security adviser, Capt. Daniel Quansah, Capt. Patrick Ogunlowo, and Obafemi Bajomo (SA-HMA).
In response, Capt. Sanusi, chairman of the task force, expressed gratitude to the minister for the opportunity and committed to addressing the issues at hand.
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