NCAA’s Stern Warning to Airlines: Stop Tampering with CVR or Face Sanctions

NCAA issues stern warning to airlines against tampering with Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) after incidents, threatens with severe sanctions for non-compliance.

An Urgent Call to Uphold Safety Standards

Once more, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the country’s principal aviation regulatory body, has raised its voice against local airline operators.

It has explicitly warned against the malicious act of tampering with the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) in the aftermath of severe incidents and accidents.

This is seen as an attempt to sidestep thorough investigation.

Consequences of Non-compliance

The NCAA has not only advised airlines to abandon this illicit practice but has also emphasized that such conduct violates the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs).

The regulatory authority stands ready to impose sanctions on any airline that fails to comply with these standards.

The 30-day Ultimatum

Simultaneously, a 30-day deadline has been imposed for airlines to abide by the newly amended regulations.

Failure to comply could bring about the NCAA’s punitive measures.

Unveiling the NCAA Warning

In a detailed All Operators Letter (AOL) with the reference number: NCAA/DGCA/AOL/11/16/365, issued by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General Civil Aviation (DGCA), the NCAA has explicitly outlined its concerns.

This letter, dated July 24, 2023, addresses the issue directly to the Accountable Executive, Directors of Operations, Chief Pilots, and Safety Managers.

The Disheartening Trend

The NCAA letter reveals a worrying trend among airline operators.

Some airlines have persistently indulged in the practice of overwriting CVR information following an incident.

This unscrupulous practice makes it impossible for the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) to retrieve vital data to aid in its investigations, as mandated by Paragraphs 25 and 26 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 2019.

Impact on Safety Investigations

Such actions have significantly hindered the NSIB’s ability to fulfill its mandatory role of investigating accidents and serious incidents.

This obstructionist behavior presents an undesirable challenge to aviation safety.

NCARs and International Regulations

The NCAA has reiterated that NCARs Part (b), which stems from the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 6, Section 11.6, highlights the need to deactivate flight recorder records following an accident or incident to preserve them.

New Mandatory Trainings and Amendments

The NCAA has directed all airline operators to carry out in-house awareness training for their flight crews, emphasizing the requirements of the Nigeria CARs Parts (b), (a), and (b) and (c).

These requirements must be integrated into their respective operations manuals.

Setting the Deadline

An insistence on submitting the amendment for review, acceptance, and approval within 30 days from the issue date of the AOL, on or before August 23, 2023, was also made.

Recap and Summary

The procedures must be part of the indoctrination training for flight crew members.

The NCAA emphasizes continuous compliance within the requirements of the Nig.

CARs on preserving flight recorder records.


In a recent incident, Max Air was indicted by the NSIB preliminary report for overwriting the CVR of a serious incident that occurred on May 7, 2023, at its Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

In addition to Max Air, several other domestic airlines have been implicated in such practices, risking safety and possible accidents if not immediately addressed

In conclusion, maintaining aviation safety and adhering strictly to established regulations is non-negotiable.

The NCAA’s recent warning to airlines, though stern, is essential in preserving integrity within the aviation industry.

Ensuring that all airlines adhere to the outlined regulations not only fosters transparency but also significantly enhances safety measures.

The impending question is, will these warnings be heeded, or will the NCAA be forced to implement its sanctions?

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What is the NCAA’s stance on tampering with the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)?

The NCAA has issued a stern warning against this act, emphasizing that it breaches Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Regulations and threatens safety.

What penalties does the NCAA propose for non-compliance?

The NCAA threatens to impose sanctions on airlines that fail to comply with these safety standards.

What measures has the NCAA taken to ensure adherence to regulations?

The NCAA threatens to impose sanctions on airlines that fail to comply with these safety standards.

What measures has the NCAA taken to ensure adherence to regulations?

The NCAA has issued a 30-day ultimatum for airlines to adhere to newly amended regulations or face punitive measures.

Who is being held accountable for these actions?

The NCAA’s warning letter directly addresses the Accountable Executive, Directors of Operations, Chief Pilots, and Safety Managers of airlines.

Have any airlines been implicated in such practices?

Yes, Max Air and several other domestic airlines have previously been accused of overwriting the CVR.

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