Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hadi Sirika has revealed that Nigeria experiences huge capital flights to C-Checks annually to the tune of US$90 million dollars. He said nothing less than $1.8- $3million dollars is spent to ferry Boeing aircraft out of the country for major checks.
However, due to the critical nature of this aviation infrastructure, undergoing a C-Check is by far the highest operating bulk cost an airline has to deal with, apart from the Jet -A1 (Aviation Fuel) that is a daily running cost for airlines in Nigeria, gulping over 40 per cent of the overall of operating cost.
But with recent developments in the sector, succor, it seems have come for airlines as no fewer than three MRO Organisations have been licensed by the Nigeria activity Aviation Authority (NCAA) since 2016. They include Onedot Aviation, Aero Hangar (established by Aero under the intervention of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the recently licensed 7 Star Global with government also planning an MRO facility along with its proposed new national carrier, all the cards seem to be falling in place as some of the facilities have even commenced operations.
Onedot Aviation, which was licensed in June 2016 was approved to carry out checks both line and heavy maintenance, for Beech-Craft, HS-125, Bombardier among others since 2014 and Boeing 737-200 Series and Boeing 737-300/400/500 series and has already successfully carried out a B-Check on a Fly Air Stream’s Boeing 737-200 cargo aircraft which is currently flying.
Aero Contractors managed by Capt. Ado Sanusi, appointed by AMCON to manage Aero after their intervention in 2017 followed suit after it rolled out its 737-500 aircraft after a C-Check from its hangar just months it was granted approval to carry out third-party maintenance, the airline is currently planning to roll out its 737-400 aircraft soon, showing that he country indeed has the personnel to carry out the maintenance of its aircraft. And the CAA has also licensed a third MRO facility, 7 Star Global, which is set to start operations soon and with the massive investment of Boeing classics in the country and the three hangars, the country will be saving a lot in capital flight experts believe.
However, there is also a massive investment in the South-South region of Nigeria where the Akwa Ibom MRO is situated and with the way the market is moving, experts and players are also yearning for that facility to come on stream to also build capacity and help the nation. The about $100 million Akwa Ibom hangar started long before the others but about $100 million later it is still an empty hangar, which would have been a thriving MRO with support from government and stakeholders since its completion in 2012. Captain Ado Sanusi of Aero Contractors described the MRO after the completion of its first C-Check as,” This feat is a game changer in the aviation industry for the entire country and it means that we can maintain our airplanes. We don’t have to take them out of the country. It will save us foreign exchange, turnaround time for maintenance and we can also do it according to international standards”