Pilots operating in Nigeria don’t have mental challenge – NCAA | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pilots operating in Nigeria don’t have mental challenge – NCAA

Posted: Apr 10, 2015 at 12:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that pilots operating in Nigeria have not experienced issues concerning their mental fitness in carrying out their jobs.

NCAA’s comment is coming on the heels of suggestion by some  experts that pilots should undergo medical tests following alleged deliberate crashing of Germanwings aircraft by co-pilot, Andreas Lubit, killing 150 on board.

There are allegations that the co-pilot reportedly had health challenges.

Deputy General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA Mr Samuel Adurogboye, said in Lagos that the common cases the regulatory authority handle concerning pilots state of health are eye sight issues, obesity and heart issues.

He said that NCAA always carry out medical test for both local and foreign pilots operating in the country at six-month interval

“I am not aware of any mental unfitness issue, but I know of issues of eye sight, obesity and heart, these are common among pilots here. The healthiest people on earth are the pilots because they were tested at a six-month interval,” he said.

He said that pilots who violate the rules and regulations of the NCAA are always sanctioned. He said that pilots who operate in Nigeria usually undergo the NCAA examination no matter the country they graduated from and that they are given NCAA licence to operate once they pass the examination.

He also said that airline operator that employed the pilot or crew would not be allowed to get involved during the medical examination of their pilot. He said NCAA encourages airlines to do their own medical assessments of their pilots and submit their report to the regulatory authority for comparison.

According to him, “We will give you certain things to read like the syllabus and timetable to go and study, then after the agreed time, normally three months, you come and do exam. If you pass, we give you our own licence. The licence from here does not qualify you to fly in the USA or South Africa, likewise those from other countries did not qualify you to fly here.

“You will then have to go to the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) to be trained on language and other things because you will have to be communicating with our Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs).

“We have a department on medical but the department does not handle mental fitness for pilots. If we start asking them to handle it, it will affect their operations and proficiency. Which means we will start going to manufacture tissue or files they want to use? We give that job to external source that has the laboratory, the expertise and has the experience to do it” he said.