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Airforce Reactivates 2 Aircraft for Courier Delivery

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The Nigerian Air Force has reactivated two of its aircraft intended to be used for courier service and airlifting frontline troops to visit their families.

Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff, disclosed this while celebrating Sallah, with troops of the Nigerian Air Force who are directly involved in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East

He informed the personnel that his organization had just completed the reactivation of one Do-228 aircraft, which would be used to reintroduce courier service in the NAF.

In addition, according to a statement from Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Airforce Director of Public Relations and Information, revealed that the second NAF ATR-42 aircraft had been reactivated and would be used to regularly airlift the frontline troops to visit their families.

In his address, Air Marshal Abubakar assured the personnel that the entire nation was behind them in the ongoing efforts to flush out the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

According to Abubakar, the main essence of the visits to the NAF troops in the North East was to celebrate with them on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr as a way of sustaining their high morale.

He then urged them to remain committed while also making the most judicious use of the nation’s resources entrusted in their care.

He equally seized the opportunity to commend the NAF medical personnel that had been participating in NAF humanitarian interventions in various IDP camps in the North East.

He expressed delight at the outcomes of the medical outreach programmes, which have proved to be an opportunity “to give hope to the hopeless.”

Earlier in the day, the Airforce boss, accompanied by other senior NAF officers, had breakfast with pilots, technicians as well as other members of the ground and administrative crews deployed in Maiduguri.

Thereafter, the CAS and his entourage proceeded to Yola, where they had lunch with the NAF personnel serving in Yola as part of the counterinsurgency force.

While in Maiduguri, the CAS stated that the NAF leadership was mindful of the enormous sacrifices being made by the NAF personnel, who are unable to celebrate with their family members, especially during this festive season.

At Yola, Air Marshal Abubakar commended the efforts of the personnel in the ongoing fight against insurgency. He added that the nation was proud of them and that the NAF would continue to do its best at ensuring their welfare.

It is recalled that the Air Marshal has consistently feted with NAF frontline troops during all festive occasions since his assumption of duty as the CAS, a development which has continued to raise the morale of the personnel.

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Aero Contractors gets NCAA Approval for C-check Maintenance

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Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, has received certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to handle C-checks on Boeing B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500.

Capt. Ado Sanusi, Managing Director of Aero Contractors, made this known while briefing newsmen on yesterday in Lagos.

Sanusi said the NCAA approval that takes effect from Sept. 2 was given to the Aero Contractors’ Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

”This represents for us a significant achievement and is a major instrument for our turn-around efforts. This feat has benefits far beyond Aero Contractors.

”The fact that C-check on the B737 Classic can now be performed in Nigeria by Aero Contractors will reflect directly in significant drop in maintenance cost for airlines in Nigeria and the sub-region as well as reduction in downtime for such checks.”

Explaining further, he said that a normal C-check cost between $1.8 million to $2 million outside the country, adding that performing it in Nigeria would reduce the demand for foreign exchange as airlines could now pay in Naira.

“So, it is a very positive development for Nigerian airlines and the Nigerian aviation industry because it will improve the ease of doing business,” Sanusi added.

He disclosed that the airline spent N60 million to renovate and expand the MRO facility which had been in existence for over 50 years in order to meet the required local and international standards.

According to him, the airline has also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with international partners, including the maintenance unit of Ethiopian Airlines and South African Technik, to render assistance on the C-checks. Sanusi said that domestic airlines alone operate about 22 B737 Classics, stressing that the facility would have a viable market.

“We want to appeal to the Federal Government to give us the Free Trade Zone status. “We want to have free access to import tools and aircraft spares without hindrances from Customs when our demand increases,” he said.

The Aero boss commended the NCAA for its professionalism and encouragement during the certification process.

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Construction: FAAN Advises Passengers on How to Meet Up with Flights

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified passengers and other airport users that the Lagos State Government has commenced the reconstruction of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Road, Lagos

The project which would last for 15 months is aimed at expanding the road for better service to users.

Appealing for understanding from all while the project last, Yakubu Henrietta, general manager, Corporate Affairs at FAAN, urged passengers and other airport users plying the road to always leave their homes earlier than usual, so as to be able to get to the airport in good time and also avoid missing their flights.

Specifically, the design of the project includes the reconstruction and expansion of the existing carriage to three-lane Expressway on both directions, construction of two-lane Service Road in both directions, construction of Ramp Bridge to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to Airport, construction of a flyover at NAHCO/Toll Gate and drainage works.

Others include the removal of existing Pedestrian Bridge at Ajao Estate and construction of Pedestrian Bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, construction of Slip Road to provide access to Ajao Estate, construction of Lay-bys and installation of Street Lights, among others.

“Meanwhile, security agencies and other traffic officers have been mobilized to ensure that road users and passengers have relatively hitch free passage while the road is under construction.

“The Authority, in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the effect of the construction on the road users while the project last”, she said.

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US May Bar Nigerian Airlines over Safety Concerns

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United States federal aviation administration has given Nigerian airlines a 65-day ultimatum to resolve specified security issues or risk being barred from flying to its country.

A team of US FAA officials who recently carried out an audit for the renewal of Nigeria’s category one safety status gave the ultimatum on August 24.

The US FAA periodically check foreign airports with which it has bilateral agreements to ensure they meet set standards.

The checks include having effective and efficient aviation regulations, operational state civil aviation systems and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.

Others include the provision of technical guidance, tools, provision of safety-critical information, licensing, certification, authorisation and approval obligations.

John Ojikutu, member of aviation industry think tank, Aviation Round Table (ART) and CEO of Centurion Securities, told BusinessDay that he doubts if Nigeria can attain the category one safety status without having its major airports certified.

Ojikutu said airport certification is compliant to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR) Part 12.6.4, which carries obligations on the operator to continuously maintain standards and competence in operation and ensuring availability of skilled manpower in sufficient numbers, for the periodic maintenance of the facilities and the system.

“Many stakeholders would probably be asking; what is the necessity for the certification when the industry was already classified category one?” he said.

“What many do not know, however, is that the classification of Nigeria as Category one, was meant only for the NCAA Regulations and oversight competence, the way university academic programs are rated or accredited by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC).

“Unfortunately, the NCAA is like a university that has been long accredited but has not been able to graduate a student. The NCAA, in spite of its category one status classification in 2010 and even today in 2017 after its reclassification, has not been able to give certification to a single airport among the over 28 federal and state airports in the country.”

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