NCAA Commends Ortom’s Role on FAA Safety Status

The acting Director General, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka has commended former Supervising Minister of Aviation, Chief Samuel Ortom for providing the leadership and support that led to Nigeria’s retention of the Category one safety status from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Adeyileka made this known recently in a press conference, while giving details of efforts made to ensure that the country was re-certificated by FAA.

The Category One safety status is issued by the US FAA to countries that have complied with a rigorous safety audit, in terms of technical capacity, manpower capability and regulatory oversight. It’s after this tasking process that the US will consider those countries airlines safe to US airspace and operate into the county’s destinations.

Ortom was the supervising minister of aviation throughout the period the safety audit was conducted on Nigeria by the FAA.
FAA, first awarded Nigeria Category One safety status in 2010, after it was confirmed that the country met the international aviation safety assessment standards.

In March, 2014, the FAA visited Nigeria and carried out an intensive safety assessment of the Nigerian aviation industry to ascertain if the status would be withdrawn or not.

The eight critical elements the US FAA team considered were primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.

Other critical elements include, technical guidance and tools, licensing and certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety concerns.

During that process some open areas were identified which needed to be closed within a specified period of time or Nigeria will lose the certification.

NCAA acting Director General confirmed that Ortom provided the needed support and leadership, which saw the National Assembly and the Presidency grant all the necessary funding and support in record time to beat the deadline set by the FAA.
He said Chief Ortom indeed deserves commendation for the support and he public praised him.

“We recognised our deficiencies and we took our challenges to the then Supervising Minister for Aviation, Chief Samuel Ortom” and he promptly acted on our concerns, adding that the NCAA got the necessary support from Ortom.

Adeyileka also used the opportunity to thank all other stakeholders in the aviation industry who worked tirelessly to ensure Nigeria retained the certification.

He also announced government support to airlines who would want to take advantage of the Category One status to service the US routes.

Arik Air Launches Frequent Flyer Programme
West and Central Africa’s largest commercial carrier, Arik Air has launched a frequent flyer programme, Affinity Wings, aligning its offering with the industry’s foremost airlines in the process.

The company said Arik Affinity Wings is packed full of benefits designed to reward guests for their loyalty by giving them the opportunity to earn miles on domestic, regional and long-haul flights.

Customers can join the programme by logging on to and completing an online enrolment form where they will receive 1000 bonus Affinity Miles along with a personal Affinity Wingsmembership number. Once redeemed, miles can be used to fly to any destination on Arik Air’s roster, upgrade tickets and make payments for excess baggage.

Furthermore, Affinity Wings membership is free and members will automatically be entitled to exclusive benefits, such as extra baggage allowance, access to Arik Air’s business lounges and priority check-in at the airport.

Members will begin at Affinity Wings Pearl membership level, automatically moving to Bronze, Silver and Gold as they clock up Affinity points and enjoy increasing benefits.

The Arik Affinity Wings programme is part of a raft of changes being rolled out to enhance the airline’s customer experience and to cement Arik Air’s position as the market leader in Nigerian and West African Aviation. 

Arik Air’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, said, “Arik Air has been the success story of Nigerian commercial aviation and we are delighted to be able to rewards the loyalty of our customers by offering a frequent flyer program. Affinity Wings is just one in a long line of upgrades to our customer offering and we plan on announcing a number of additional benefits to the program over the coming months.

“As the number one airline in Nigeria we have an obligation to ensure we constantly strive to enhance the service we offer travelers who fly with us. As a consequence this programme serves as an important vehicle via which we should seek to appreciate and reward our valued guest for their continued loyalty and affinity with Arik Air. ”

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