by | Aug 25, 2022 | 6 comments

Fostering Growth, Innovation, and Sustainability in Airline Operations

The Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is of paramount importance to commercial airlines in Nigeria. This certification ensures that an airline meets the necessary safety standards and regulatory requirements set by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Holding an AOC demonstrates that the airline has proper operational procedures, qualified personnel, adequate maintenance programs, and appropriate safety management systems in place. It instills confidence in passengers, stakeholders, and regulatory bodies, promoting trust and ensuring the airline’s commitment to safety and compliance. Without an AOC, airlines would be unable to operate legally and efficiently in Nigeria’s aviation industry. An air operator certificate, also known as an AOC, is a document that authorizes a company to conduct certain commercial air transport operations. (See ICAO Annex 6). The state regulatory authority issues this certificate after a rigorous process in which regulatory authorities confirm that the applicant has sufficient capacity and competence to operate safely, efficiently, and in accordance with civil aviation regulations. This process takes 6 months or more depending on the company’s readiness and commitment and is 5 phases of seven steps.

In this article, I will go over the steps you must take to obtain an AOC in Nigeria. Please keep in mind that this is not a standard, but rather a guide that we use at cliqjets consulting to help our clients. I hope you find this helpful.


Apply for an air transport license also known as ATL with the Ministry of Aviation

STEP 2 Phase 1

Submit your PASI (pre-application statement of intent) to the Nigerian civil aviation authority NCAA

STEP 3 Phase 1

Get your post holders ready: Accountable manager, Director of flight operations, Director of maintenance, Director of Quality, Director of safety, Chief pilot

STEP 4 Phase 2

Submit a formal application to NCAA, and you should attach to the application the following manuals:  

  1. Flight manual part A (General)
  2. Flight manual part B (Standard operating procedure SOP)
  3. Flight manual part C (Enroute)
  4. Flight manual part D (Training)

STEP 5 Phase 3

Documentation: this is where you submit your manuals to the authority for approval, below is the list of manuals you must submit:

  1. Flight dispatch manual
  2. Dangerous goods manual
  3. Avsec manual
  4. Safety management system (SMS) manual
  5. Ground operations manual
  6. Emergency response manual
  7. Maintenance control manual
  8. Maintenance training manual
  9. Maintenance procedure manual
  10. Approved maintenance program manual.
  11. Minimum equipment list (MEL)

STEP 6 Phase 4

Demonstration: The regulatory authorities inspect the offices of all post holders and operation bases to ascertain their state of readiness to operate before the airline is granted approval to do a demonstration flight to the satisfaction of the inspectors or 50hrs.

STEP 7 Phase 5


STEP 8 Phase 6

Contact Cliqjets Consulting Limited where your profitability is our priority…….!!!


Finally, the certification team will review all of the preceding processes and recommend the airline for AOC, subject to the Director General’s approval.

Remember that these steps are not exhaustive, so please leave your own in the comments section. It will be extremely meaningful to us.

About the Author

Shadrach Swante Kambai

Flight Operations Consultant, Aviation Data Analyst, Business Developer (

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