Application process
On grant of licence


In order to commence airline operations in Nigeria, a number of steps must be undertaken in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Guidelines and Requirements for Grant of Air Transport Licence.

The first step is to obtain an air transport licence from the NCAA. The licence is an authorisation to operate either cargo services or scheduled passenger services within Nigeria. Once granted, the licence is valid for five years and can be renewed. However, where a licence is not made use of within five years of grant, it will not be renewed by the NCAA. There is a non-refundable processing fee of N1 million and an annual utilisation fee of N200,000.

Application process

Notice of application
A notice of application must be published in two national daily newspapers, containing information on the application submitted to the NCAA for the grant of an aviation transport licence. As part of the application process, the applicant must submit proof that it is financially solvent to run operations for a period of three months from the start of operations without resorting to any income from the operations. A notice of application is also published in the Official Government Gazette, at the applicant's expense. The applicant must also obtain security clearance from the government.

Application letter
The applicant must submit a signed application letter addressed to the director general of the NCAA within the six months before the air transport licence is expected to be used.

The application letter must contain the following:

  • the applicant's name and address;
  • the types of air service to be provided;
  • the applicant's proposed operational base;
  • details of proposed routes (where applicable);
  • the number and types of aircraft to be utlised; and
  • the times and frequency of services.

Supporting documents
Alongside the application, the following supporting documents must also be submitted:

  • four copies of the certified true copies of:
    • the certificate of incorporation of the company;
    • the memorandum and articles of association; and
    • the particulars of the directors of the company (Form CAC7);
  • the statement of share capital/return of allotment – the company should have a minimum paid-up share capital of N500 million for domestic operations, N1 billion for regional operations and N2 billion for intercontinental operations;
  • four copies of:
    • the current tax clearance certificates of the company and of each director (originals should also be submitted for sighting); and
    • a detailed business plan of the company;
  • duly completed application forms obtained from the NCAA; and
  • duly completed personal history statement forms and two passport photographs for each shareholder of the company with more than a 5% equity shareholding.

On grant of licence

Once the air transport licence is granted, the applicant must liaise with the airport service providers or the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) regarding approval of its home or operational base. Pursuant to the Civil Aviation Act 2006, operators must have adequate passenger and cargo insurance and third-party insurance. The insurance must be sufficient to pay compensation of $100,000 per passenger in case of death or injury.

A licence holder must also forward to FAAN:

  • monthly statistical returns on aircraft movements and passenger up-lift; and
  • details of flight schedules and any changes to frequencies and new destinations.

Once the air transport licence is obtained, the operator can then apply for an air operator's certificate, which is required before commencing operations.

For further information on this topic please contact Timeyin Bob-Egbe at George Etomi & Partners by telephone (+234 1 462 1660) or email ([email protected]). The George Etomi & Partners website can be accessed at