For the first time in the history of the Nigerian aviation industry, arrangements have been concluded to create industry specific boom by way of installing aircraft maintenance facilities in the country. The arrangements, according to aviation watchers, will save the country and the entire West African region about $1billion annually.
As part of the deal, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has granted 7Star Global Hanger Ltd, a licence to operate aircraft maintenance and an all-inclusive maintenence repairs deal under the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation, AMO, and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, MRO. The arrangements to cover all aircraft in the country.
Aviation expert say the arrangements will also halt the current move whereby 7Star Global Hangar Ltd ferry out aircrafts abroad for the same purpose. The firm is the first MRO firm in West and Central Africa with the facility for carrying out different types of aircraft checks.
Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Balami, explained that the deal is to allow 7Star Global Hangar Ltd locally carry out MRO operations as specified by NCAA, adding that the $1b that will be saved from localizing the maintenance operation can be deployed to creating more jobs across the country.
“The huge capital in aircraft maintenance we often experience, amounting to over $1billion that is annually spent in West Africa alone is going to help to create jobs here in Nigeria…the hanger means a lot of job creation for the aviation industry and we are happy. I can tell you categorically that aside from about 10 expatriates that we have, we also had to transfer technology to indigenous engineers and train them on some few areas that we are not yet strong at. We already have about 68 local engineers that have the manufacturers’ type-course on those aircraft.”
Balami who noted that he is familiar with the challenges in the sector, pointed out that his firm has both the requisite facilities and capabilities, including certified technical and manpower requirements to handle aircraft maintenance locally. According to him, 7Star Global Hangar Ltd does not only have on-the-job experience, its technical staff have current qualifications profiles required for the job.
“We have invested over $5 million on equipment alone. These are equipment that the NCAA team came to inspect and they are satisfied and the equipment are all overhauled, calibrated and up-to-date, and our engineers are well-trained on how to operate the equipment…They are experienced, they are current and most of them with at least 20-30 years of experience working on these aircraft and working across the globe. So we have one of the best teams on the ground. I can tell you that your aircraft is safe with 7 Star Global Hangar.
We have done inspection and maintenance on Augusta 139 helicopters which most VIPs, even the presidency operates also. Most oil and gas companies operate it. We also have EC 155 up to 6000 hours/12 years’ inspection.
We have done about 9,600 hours’ inspection on the Learjet 45, small Cessna aircraft, we have about 100 hours/annual inspection and on the bombardier DHC-8 100/200/300 (C Checks/8000FH), DHC-8 400 (C checks/8000FH), Challenger 601/604/605 (2400 hours inspections), Hawker Siddeley HS 125-850/900 (A-G Inspections), Bell 429 (5000 hours/5 years inspections), Embraer 135/145 (Up 5000hours/48months inspections), Embraer 600/650 (20000 hours/96 Months Inspections) and Boeing 737-300/400/500 (Up to 8A inspections), we have the highest inspection in most of the aircraft as stipulated in the manufacturers’ manual.”
We went through the process of certification from phase 1 to phase 5 and today, with about 6 to 7 experienced inspectors NCAA assigned to this project, we have been able to go through the process. The MRO is fully ready for operations and we are going to be operating with other sisters MRO and hangars across the country.”
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