…as airline mulls establishment of MRO facility in Lagos
Posted by Sade Williams
Green Africa Airways (GAA) ‘gFuture’, a training platform launched by the airline in 2022, has produced the first set of 13 graduates in various fields in aviation as they were presented with certificates of completion of courses on Tuesday in Lagos.
Mr. Babawande Afolabi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline while announcing the feat in Lagos at a press conference, also disclosed that plans are underway by the airline to establish a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility.
Afolabi disclosed that the airline had received an approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out line maintenance of its equipment, adding that its long-term plan was to delve into full-blown maintenance of aircraft.
He added that the company has also recruited engineers and other critical personnel for the purpose.
“As you are aware, we started flying way back in 2021 and we have been given the approval by the NCAA for our own line maintenance. So, we got that last August. So, within a year of being in operations, we got the approval for our maintenance.
“It was part of the plans before we started flying. So, we have recruited seasonal engineers right from day one and they went into extensive training with the top service providers. So, it was a sort of seamless process to take over the maintenance.
“Over the next two years, our plan is for Green Africa to be able to do its own maintenance end to end. Right now, we can do everything to TA Check, 5,000 flying hours. After flying your aircraft for about two years, there is usually a check you have to conduct, but here now, we can do that.
“The next thing for us now is to have the capability in terms of infrastructure and the approval from the authority to be able to do a full -blown base maintenance. That is in the works, but it takes time. You need to gain experience, approval; and infrastructure. Those are in the pipelines.”, he said.
Afolabi announced 13 persons who were trained as second officers, ground services personnel, gspecialists and turnaround coordinator as the first set of people to benefit from the initiative.
He tasked the new talents to show commitment, tenacity and full dedication to their jobs, and advised them to invest in people just as the airline had invested in them.
“If you do not have any support around you, it will be difficult to achieve your dreams, just like someone invested in you, you will need to invest in others, just like someone believed in you, you will need to believe in others”, he said.
Speaking further on the gFuture, Afolabi said: “We announced our plan last year to train talents over the next decade across multiple disciplines within the airline business
“We are pleased to let you know that we have our first cohort this year. We are especially proud of being able to accomplish this despite just being for less than two years in operation
” Everyone in the cohort is largely ab-initio that got an opportunity to start building their careers from the ground-up as a result of the gFuture Initiative
“We are committed to the gFuture Initiative being a signature training platform not only for Green Africa but also a unique example to other players in the region that we need take a long-term consistent approach to training talents in the country. This is a line around the support of the NCAA”, he added.
In his speech, Engr. Kayode Ajiboye, the immediate past Director, Airworthiness Standards, NCAA, said charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of not only Green Africa but of Nigeria.
“I am proud to be part of this programme today, Green Africa has a vision and this is it. Let your dream be the bigger dream of Green Africa and Nigeria, we must create the Nigeria that we want, this is the beginning for you, you are the future, be diligent, be tenacious and never give up”, he said.
Green Africa Airways had in March 2022, unveiled plans to train hundreds of technical personnel for industry in Nigeria over the next decade.
The airline had promised to train 200 pilots, 140 engineers, 100 dispatchers and 500 cabin crew members in its gFuture Initiative, which it said would change the face of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
Those presented with certificates on Tuesday were: Julius Odoma, Abiodun Adeniji, Ruth Agochukwu, Joy Oranezi, Ogechi Nmesirionye, Hilda Igbinigie, Queen Nwokocha and Joyce Haruna.
Others are Abdulmalik Dosara, Joseph Ene-Okon, Ademola Adeniranye, Idris Kareem and Ofonmbuk Idiong.