Africa: Aero makes History as Nigeria Aviation gives licence for B737 C-check at its base
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has granted approval to Aero Contractors Airlines to carry out C – check maintenance on airplanes at its facilities, a development that may save domestic airlines over $48 million spent on offshore maintenance of 24 Boeing 737 – classics.
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors of Nigeria, Captain Ado Sanusi on Wednesday described the maintenance facility as a major instrument for Aero’s turnaround efforts, saying other operators in West and Central Africa will benefit from the use of the facility.
He said the approval to the airline for its Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) to carry out major maintenance otherwise known as C – check will save the country millions of dollars annually.
Sanusi said with 24 Boeing 737 classic aircraft on the fleet of some Nigerian operators, the new maintenance facility in Aero Contractors will provide succor for operators who spend about $ 1.8 billion every 18 months to ferry their aircraft to different parts of the world for major maintenance.
He said Aero had signed Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) with Europe based engineering firm : AJ Waters ; South African Technik ; Ethiopian Airlines for pooling of expertise and tools to enable them carry out C- check on many aircraft at the facility in Lagos.
He said Aero had invested over N 60 million on the expansion of the hangar to enable it handle comprehensive work on aircraft.
He however, appealed to government to grant the maintenance facility the status of a free trade zone to enable the airline import and export aircraft, tools and spares across the world without customs inhibition.
Sanusi said: ” The Aero family is pleased to announce that the NCAA has approved its aircraft maintenance Organisation for C – check on the Boeing 737 Classic. This represents for us a significant achievement and is a major instrument for our turnaround.
“This feat has benefits far beyond Aero. The fact that C – check on the Boeing 737 can now be performed in Nigeria by Aero will reflect directly in significant drop in maintenance costs for airlines in Nigeria and the sub region as well reduction in downtime for such checks. In the present state of foreign exchange difficulties , this is no mean relief . Therefore, this milestone by Aero will benefit the entire Nigerian aviation industry.
“It is important to note that the approval by the NCAA came about after completing a number of checklists items at the hangar as directed by the regulator, including extensive expansion of the hangar space. This approval also adds to existing facilities such as wheel and brakes, battery shop and upholstery.
“On the whole, we look forward to greater feat as we bravely March out of our present downturn to a future that is set to be even brighter than our past glory .”
He said Aero will consolidate its operations on more routes before the end of the year.