Home / News / We Got FG’s Approval For Our Pilots To Fly Into Rivers, Insists Caverton

We Got FG’s Approval For Our Pilots To Fly Into Rivers, Insists Caverton

Caverton Helicopters has kicked against the arrest of its staff in Rivers State, insisting that it secured all necessary approvals from the Federal Government and its regulatory aviation agencies for its chopper to operate across the country.

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The company said this in a statement signed by its management in reaction to the arrest of two of its pilots in Rivers State on Tuesday on the orders of the state government.

Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, had declared a lockdown and announced a suspension of all flight operations at the Port Harcourt International Airport as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

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But Caverton in its statement explained that it was granted approval by the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to continue operations across the country.

The approval granted by the NCAA in a letter dated 1 April, as seen by Newsbreak, permits the company to provide flight services to the oil and gas sector for an initial period of three months

The company decried the non-recognition of the approval granted by the Federal Government and its agencies.

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“We would like to state that Caverton had secured all necessary approvals from the NCAA and Ministry of Aviation to be exempt from the movement restriction announced by His Excellency, The President, and carried on with operations accordingly.

“However, it appears that the State Government does not recognise these approvals obtained from the Federal Government, and today our staff has been detained,” the statement partly read.

The helicopter operator appealed to the Federal Government to implore on the Rivers State government to free the detained pilots.

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“We are concerned about the welfare of our employees, and appeal to the Federal Government to urge the Rivers State Government to release these two (2) pilots, who are being unduly punished for performing their duties for the company based on clear approvals given by the relevant authorities,” the statement read.

The pilots, identified as Samuel Ugorji (pilot) and Samuel Buhari (co-pilot), were charged to a magistrates’ court in the state and remanded in custody till 19 May.

 

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