The Federal Government yesterday Saturday April 27th grounded a Bombardier BD700, Global Express with tag no N565 RS owned by the Rivers State government.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) said the plane, which is Governor Rotimi Amaechi's private plane, has been operating illegally as it's clearance to operate expired since April 2, 2013.
The Director of airworthiness standards of the NCAA, Engineer Benedict Adeyileka, explained:
"The controversial aircraft on the service of Governor Rotimi Amaechi is operating illegally in the country. The aircraft has its clearance approval expired since Tuesday, April 2, 2013, by our records the last flight clearance for this aircraft was approved for operations on Thursday March 28, 2013 on Accra/Port Harcourt and Accra to terminate on April 2, 2013.
"With this development, the aircraft has exceeded the extra two days or forty eight hours leeway for it to leave the country.
“While still operating illegally, the aircraft has been sighted in several places, including Owerri and Akure, the owner of this aircraft according to the certificate of registration is Bank of Utah Trustees of Salt Lake City, Utah United States of America.
“The clearance for the aircraft was sought by Caverton Helicopters on March 27, 2013.
“NCAA did not ground the aircraft prior to request for start up in Akure on Friday 26, April 2013.
Consequently, this aircraft in reference is hereby grounded at any airport that it is located right now in the country."