Following a Nigerian government-ordered crackdown on unauthorised commercial flights, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended "three private operators" for allegedly conducting commercial flights without the required licences.

According to a statement from acting director general Chris Ona Najomo, NCAA officials monitoring activities at private jet terminals across Nigeria found at least three operators to be in breach of Nigerian civil aviation regulations. The names of the culprits were not disclosed.

"In line with our zero tolerance for the violation of regulations, the authority has suspended the Permits for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCFs) of these operators," he announced, adding that the authority will also reassess all PNCF holders by April 19 to ensure compliance with requirements.

Similarly, he warned existing air operator's certificate (AOC) holders "who utilise aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations" that "only aircraft listed in the operation specifications (OpSpecs) of their AOC are authorised to be used in the provision of such charter services". "Any of those AOC holders who wish to use their aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include them in their AOC's operations specifications."

Najomo called on anyone looking for a charter flight not to use any company that does not hold a valid AOC issued by the NCAA. He also called on legitimate airlines to report those operating illegally.

Aviation and Aerospace Development Minister Festus Keyamo first flagged the illegal use of private jets for commercial purposes last November. Consequently, in March 2024, the NCAA warned PNCF holders to stop carrying passengers, cargo or mail for commercial gain or to hire out their aircraft for commercial rewards.