Africa: Nigeria’s Captain Ado Sanusi of Aero Contractors wins BALAFON Aviation Man of the Year West Africa


Captain Ado Sanusi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest airline in Lagos Nigeria has won the BALAFON award of the Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa. The award was presented to him at the 4th Accra Weizo, the West African region travel fair held at the La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Accra-Ghana on the 22nd June 2018.

The award was presented to him in the presence of VIP’s and dignitaries which included Mr. Akwesi Agyeman Ag CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA); Mrs. Abena Pokuaa Amoah Boaitey, CEO Sets of Golden Beach Hotels; Mrs. Rita Ikechi-Uko, DMD, Akwaaba Travel Market; Mr. Frank Apeasyei, Special Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana; Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs. Pavelyn Tenclai Musaka; Mr. Chris Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace; Stella Fubara, Africa Director, Dubai Tourism; Mr. Hloni Pitso, Manager West Africa, South Africa Tourism; Mr. Alex Nwuba, CEO Smile Aviation; Mr. Chike Ogeah, V. Chairman, SAHCOL; Mr. Richard Kyere of Africa World Airline among others.

The BALAFON West African Travel and Tourism Award is organized by is today rated as the biggest travel news website in Africa. is a subsidiary of ATQ News which is the abbreviation for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first Travel magazine in West Africa which started publishing over two decades ago and has developed multiple media platforms which are, the online platform and Travellers Magazine, the offline publication.

Balafon Awards of Excellence is an annual awards organized to recognize Pioneers and best players in the travel and tourism industry for the ECOWAS region. The winners were selected via a select poll among Practitioners and ratified by a board made of Specialists in Media.

The award recognized Captain Ado Sanusi as the Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa for his outstanding effort in establishing a functional Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) by a Private Airline in West Africa, thereby playing a significant role in not only driving the aviation Agenda of your organization and country and catalyzing the growth of Aviation in the sub region but also helping forge ties between countries in West Africa and Africa with a view to enhancing Regional Tourism.

Captain Ado Sanusi started his flying career in Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Zaria where he obtained commercial Pilot License and a National Diploma in Aeronautical Sciences.

He then went to the United States where he obtained advanced his education and obtained Air Transport Pilot License, Certified Flight, Ground Instructor’s License and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Sciences in the following institutions in the United States: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Dayton Fl.; Flight Safety Savanna GA; University of Southern California; Simuflite Dallas TX; North America Training and Development TX; USAir Training Center, Pittsburg PA and Flight Safety International Wichita KS.

Captain Ado Sanusi worked for Kabo Air, a local airline as Senior Flight Officer and then proceeded to ExxonMobil as Captain and Flight Safety Officer. He then joined Virgin Nigeria as Captain on the B737 Classic.

Captain Ado Sanusi later became the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency./ He was responsible for managing the entire Nigeria Airspace and succeeded in laying the foundation for a performance base airspace. He worked in collaboration with other parastatals in the aviation industry (NCAT, NIMET, FAAN and NCAA) to implement the total radar coverage on the Nigeria Airspace (TRACON). He designed the blue print of capacity building by organizing Training for the air Traffic Controllers and Engineers in the United States.

Captain Ado Sanusi worked closely with the Nigeria Air Force/Military to have smooth coordination of the Nigerian Airspace and facilitated the training of the Military Air Traffic Controllers on the TRACON.

Captain Sanusi has a blend of best American training and vast experience in African operation. He later joined Arik Air as a Captain on the Boeing 737-NG and became a trainer, Chief Pilot and later SVP Operations and DMD of the biggest airline in West and Central Africa, a position he held till 13th February 2017. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria.

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