…airlines to save billions, says Sirika
…feat justifies our commitment-AMCON
By Sade Williams
The entire Nigeria aviation sector on Friday, stood still for Nigeria’s foremost airline, Aero contractors as the airline’s C-Check facility was officially opened to cater to the maintenance needs of airlines in Nigeria and West & Central Africa.
This is just as the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika said the facility would save airlines over $90 million in capital flight as C-check which hitherto was done outside the shores of Nigeria would now be done locally.
He said Nigeria experiences huge capital flights of nothing less than $1.8million and $3million per Boeing aircraft on C-Checks.
“It is noteworthy that Boeing 737 aircraft are the most aircraft fleet operated in Nigeria by most indigenous airlines, prior to now and in the lifespan of other administrations. Nigeria experienced huge capital flight of nothing less than $1.8million and$3million per Boeing aircraft that left our shores for C-Checks and there are more than 30 of such aircraft operating so you do the arithmetic,” he said in his address.
The airline on Friday, also used the occasion to celebrate the Roll-Out of the First Successfully conducted Boeing 737-500 C-Check in the region as at a ceremony that attracted crème-de-la-crème of the aviation sector at the airline’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking at the occasion, an elated managing director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, attributed the feat to staff dedication, professionalism and hard work.
He said, ‘Today’s occasion proves that with good policies, smart management, effective oversight and professional dedication by staff, hard work gets rewarded and companies dedicated to public services can be revived from the brink of collapse”.
According to him, conducting aircraft C-Check in Nigeria is a huge milestone for the aviation sector adding that in Aero, there were several challenging moments.
“Thankfully, our Team of Engineers & Technicians persisted and surmounted the challenges to make today possible. Permit me to mention here that this certification of Aero to conduct C-Checks in Nigeria seamlessly dovetails into the Ease of Doing Business Policy of the present administration. Aero hereby invites airlines to conduct their C-Checks for B737 Classics with us bearing in mind the tangible deliverables to be derived from patronizing Aero.
“These include saving foreign exchange, getting a quicker aircraft turn-around time, enriching Nigerian technical expertise and knowledge base and strengthening the Nigerian aviation sector as the regional and sub-regional hub for aviation activities. Aero hereby extends its hand in partnership to all.
Sanusi, who called on the Federal government to assist Aero intervene with Customs to ensure that it expedite the easy passage and clearance of tools that are imported for imported for aircraft maintenance, said this would greatly help in avoiding loosing days waiting for Customs to clear our tools to enable us proceed with the maintenance.
He said that though Aero, has applied to be granted Free Trade Zone status at the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), ‘we are hoping that granting us the status shall be expedited in the first quarter of 2018 as it would ease our maintenance turn-around time which is key to building customer confidence in patronizing Aero for its C-Check maintenance. We appeal to the Hon. Minister to also intervene with the Hon. Minister of Trade & Investment’.
Also speaking, Ahmed Kuru, managing director, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), said the feat ‘justifies AMCON’s resolve and commitment towards the development and stabilisation of our challenged Aviation sector’.
He said it is important to underscore the fact that Aero Contractors’ certification to conduct the C-Checks for Boeing 737-500 series locally is a boom for the industry because it would save millions of dollars that Nigerian Airlines and not just Aero, spend outside this country on facilities such as this.
“We cannot continue to allow capital flight of our scarce foreign exchange towards paying for services that are available in Nigeria and would provide a source of employment for our people. To this end a directive to other airlines towards the use of this facility at least to the extent of its capabilities and certifications, would go a long way towards ensuring the growth of the Aero MRO into being certified for other Aircrafts types”, he said.