The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has granted 7Star Global Hangar Ltd., an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO), to operate an all-inclusive Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer, 7Star Global Hangar, Mr Isaac Balami, confirmed the development in a chat with Aviation correspondents in Lagos on Thursday.
Balami, an aircraft engineer and former National President, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), said the country would witness a boom in aircraft maintenance that could save the country over one billion dollars annually.
He said: “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.
“We are happy to say goodbye to four years of Inspection/Maintenance on Augusta 139 helicopters which most VIPs, even the president, operate. We also have EC 155 up to 6000 hours/12 years’ inspection.
“On the Learjet 45, about 9,600 hours’ inspection. On the small Cessna aircraft, we have about 100 hours/annual inspection.”
According to him, 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).
“Others are the Bell 429 (5000 hours/five years inspections), Embraer 135/145 (Up 5000 hours/48 months inspections), Embraer 600/650 (20000 hours/96 Months Inspections) and Boeing 737-300/400/500 (Up to 8A inspections).
“This is the highest inspection in most of the aircraft as stipulated in the manufacturer’s manual. That means a lot of job creation for the aviation industry and we are happy,” he said.
The former NAAPE president noted that the company was the first independent privately owned MRO in West and Central Africa because it was a stand-alone and had registered since 2012.
He explained that he was happy to announce the approval after over 15 months of the NCAA reviewing its variation and operational specifications (OpsSpecs) and also expanding the company’s capability list in Wheels and Brakes, NDT etc.
He added that the company had finally finished phase five which was the last stage in the certification process and it had been granted final approval.
Balami noted that as a former NAAPE president, he alongside the technical team and board members had seen the difficulties airlines go through to fly their airplanes overseas for repairs, incurring huge costs to operators of the aircraft.
He said the company had gone through the process of certification from phase one to phase five and today, with about six to seven experienced NCAA inspectors assigned to the project, the company had been able to go through the process.
He said the company was fully ready for operations and it was going to be operating with other sister MRO and hangars across the country.
He said the company had also invested over five million dollars on equipment alone, adding that those were the equipment the NCAA team came to inspect.
“NCAA is satisfied and the equipment is all overhauled, calibrated, and up-to-date, and our engineers are well-trained on how to operate the equipment,” he said.
Balami lauded the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, for all the support and encouragement, and the Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu; the Director of Airworthiness, Engineer Kayode Ajiboye, with his team who participated in the success of the certification.
He gave assurance to the aviation ministry, aviation stakeholders and the general public that the trust bestowed on 7 Star Global Hangar would not be taken for granted.