A former President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Engineer Isaac Balami, has opened up on what Nigeria and West African airlines will gain if the existing Aero Contractors’ Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, is given the needed government support.
Speaking during the roll-out of the first successfully conducted Boeing 737-500 C-check at the facility, weekend, he noted that Nigerian and West African airlines could save billions of dollars annually on aircraft maintenance with the establishment.
Balami disclosed that with the needed upgrade of the Aero facility, airlines in the West African sub-region will end spending at least $1bn yearly on the maintenance of aircraft in Europe and America.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, also towed Balami’s line of reasoning, saying airlines were spending at least $1.8m on each C-check on their B737 classic, the most commonly used aircraft for domestic flight operations in the country.
Represented at the unveiling of the aircraft by the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, Akin Olateru, the Minister commended Aero’s accomplishment argued that the earlier criticized takeover of the airline by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had become a good move after all.
In his address of welcome, the Managing Director of Aero, Ado Sanusi, appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to ensure easy passage and clearance of tools for the maintenance process.
He revealed further that his company had already applied to be granted a free trade zone status by the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to help the turnaround time for the MRO facility at MMIA, Lagos.