Nigeria acquires $8.5m calibration aircraft

Ijeoma Nwankpa, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has acquired  a calibration aircraft which will boost the Country’ s  aviation sector.

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika while taking delivery of the aircraft said it would serve in the calibration of navigational aircraft in the country.

‘The purpose of this aircraft is to calibrate our equipment and aids in the country for the purpose of flight operations .”

According to the Minister, the aircraft which  was purchased at the cost of $ 8.5 million will help Nigeria save about one million Naira yearly.

Nigeria will be saving a lot of money by procuring this aircraft, I know I paid about $500.000, when our equipment were due last year to  a South African contractor to carry out this task. If you say every six months, we will do this, that would be half a million every six months. So when we do it sixteen times, the value of the aircraft would have been paid. Not only that, we will commercialize it, generate revenue and keep our industry safe too.”

Senator Sirika further explained why the aircraft was acquired:

‘What informed the procurement of this aircraft was that when we were reconstructing the Abuja runway, certainly towards the end, we needed to re-calibrate all those landing aids at the time which is the requirement. This is to ensure they are working in perfect order.

We didn’t have the capability as a country. The only people close to us that had is ASECNA which is owned by french speaking countries but the aircraft is domiciled in Niger. We approached them but they didn’t have a slot for us and if I didn’t get the support of far away South Africa, we wouldn’t beat the six weeks deadline.

I said if Niger can have it, why not Nigeria. We used to have it under cover aviation flying unit. 

I approached the president for approval and got it to procure this aircraft. Mssrs Cross Wind LTD won the contract. This aircraft was purposely built for Nigeria, it is equipped and has  been delivered. This is the key.

We thank Mr. President for trusting us and believing in our capability .”

In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to boost the Country’s Gross Domestic Product through the aviation sector as well as achieve flight safety operations, the country will soon achieve another milestone with the lunch of a fully automated fire fighting equipment in Zaria.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive officer of Cross Wings International Limited, Air Commodore Hambali Tukur (Rtd), said

It took about nine months from when they applied to the completion and installation of  the equipment which was built in Textron Aviation Services, Kansas, United States.

Since accuracy is Paramount to safety in aviation of any country, with this calibration aircraft which inspects Communication or navigational equipment, the procurement of this aircraft will grateful improve safety in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Ime Njoku