Union flays NAPIMS over termination of Bristow contracts

Bristow helicopters

Bristow helicopters

The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) has cautioned against the termination of Bristow Helicopters contracts in Nigeria by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) following the emergency landing of a Bristow-operated Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopter on February 3, 2016.

NAPIMS, a corporate services unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had declared that the incident brought to questioning Bristow’s maintenance and inspection programmes, prompting the call for its joint partners to terminate all Bristow Helicopter services contracts.

The union in a statement issued by its National President, Okewu Benjamin, questioned the authority and grounds of which NAPIMS gave that directive and urged President Mohammadu Buhari to call NAPIMS to order over its directive to terminate all contracts with Bristow Helicopters over the ditching of its Sikorsky type machine.

Okewu noted that the technical audit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was carrying out its standard procedure used all over the world when an airline or operator is involved in two or more air accidents within a spate of time.

“NAPIMS is only but a corporate service unit of the exploration and production Directorate on the NNPC and have not power to act instead of the regulator, NCAA,” he said.

Besides, he said the NCAA is the only organisation recognised by the international civil aviation organization (ICAO) to ground any airline operations and declare it unsafe to fly.

To this end, the union advised NAPIMS not to use the unfortunate situation of the crash or ditching to play the politics of diverting Bristow contracts to other parties where they seemed to have vested interest in the name of safety as it is too early to make such conclusion.

He urged all to wait for the final report and decision of the NCAA audit and directives on the matter.

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