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Nigeria to retain N32.4bn yearly on aircraft repairs

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Nigeria to retain N32.4bn yearly on aircraft repairs

Nigeria is set to save $90 million dollars with the commencement of Aero Contractors Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, given that the country operates no fewer than 40 Boeing aircraft, New Telegraph has learnt.

Hadi Sirika disclosed this to this newspaper at the roll out of Aero Contractors 737-500 aircraft from the hangar after the successful completion of a C-Check. He said the capital flight narrative is about to change with the organisation’s initiative. A C-check is a detailed maintenance check where the entire component of an aircraft is inspected for the purpose of repair and maintenance.

It is heavier than A and B checks and can take up to three weeks to conduct a C-check and require up to 6,000 man-hours. This is performed approximately every 20–24 months or a specific amount of actual flight hours (FH) or as defined by the manufacturer.

This maintenance check is much more extensive than a B-check, requiring a large majority of the aircraft’s components to be inspected. This check puts the aircraft out of service and the aircraft must not leave the maintenance site until it is completed.

It also requires more space than A and B checks. It is, therefore, usually carried out in a hangar at a maintenance base. The time needed to complete such a check is at least one to two weeks and the effort involved can require up to 6,000 man-hours.

According to the minister, Nigeria experiences huge capital flights of not less than $1.8 million and $3 million per Boeing aircraft on CChecks.

“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 $1.8 million and $3 million per Boeing aircraft that left our shores for C-Checks and there are over 30 of such aircraft operating, so you do the arithmetic,” the minister said in his address.

According to the minster, Aero was at the brink of being written off as history as another failed airline, but the airline management dug deep and has turned around to make remarkable history as the first indigenous airline to undertake C-Check on Boeing 737 Classics.

Also speaking at the ceremony to mark the successful conduct of the C-check by the airline at Aero Contractors Head Office, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Managing Director, Aero Contractors Airline, Captain Ado Sanusi, said the feat was necessitated by the need to maintain its aircraft locally.

Sanusi declared that the days where domestic airlines take their aircraft for maintenance abroad were over, stressing that conducting a C-check abroad amount to loss of huge capital flight.

According to him, Aero Contractors would be conducting the checks for all domestic airlines in Nigeria and across the West and Central Africa, affirming that the airline has bounce back to a profitable state.

His words: “Right now, three of our aircraft are up for maintenance and for third-party maintenance, we have about six aircraft; so the entire years is busy for us because before the end of the year, we will have a full bay maintenance facility in the country.

“This feat is a game changer in the aviation industry for the entire country and it means that we can maintain our airplanes. We don’t have to take them out of the country. It will save us foreign exchange, turnaround time for maintenance and we can also do it according to international standards”

Also, Managing Director, Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Kuru, said the certification given by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to Aero Contractors to conduct Cchecks on Boeing 737-500 series in the country would galvanize a boom in the aviation industry.

Kuru also said that it cost about $1.8million to $2million to conduct C-check outside the country, noting that such feat would save millions of dollars that Nigerian Airlines would have spent on maintenance abroad.

He said: “I would like to solicit the support for Aero MRO by all stakeholders particularly the relevant aviation regulatory bodies, towards ensuring that this seed that has been planted is allowed to grow, in our collective interest as Nigerians.

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