Aero Contractors Limited, which is under the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has received certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to handle C-checks on Boeing B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500 at the airline’s terminal effective from September 12, 2017.
This is a major feat for Aero, and the first by a flag carrier in Nigeria currently manned by Capt. Ado Sanusi as Chief Executive Officer. It would be recalled that Aero had earlier received an AMO certification from the NCAA in 2011, which allowed the airline to carry out third party maintenance for other airlines. There are over four airlines that operate the B737-300, 400 and 500 series in Nigeria, excluding neighbouring West African countries.
Sanusi, under whose leadership the development is recorded while commenting on the C-Check approval, the Aero Contractors boss said, “We are proud to receive the certification by NCAA to commence this service for airlines across the West African sub region. This is the first in Nigeria, and West African aviation industry and is a huge boost to our position as a maintenance facility. We are pleased to announce that our hanger has been expanded and all necessary facilities and manpower for the C-check maintenance have been put in place.”
Sanusi who was visibly happy over the mileage added, “This is a great relief for Nigerian airlines, as local maintenance of aircraft up to C-check level will bring huge savings in foreign exchange in aircraft overseas maintenance. This will reinforce the strength and quality of our brand (Aero). We will continue to offer the most reliable, safe and secure operations, which the airline is renowned for over the years.
“Even as we celebrate, we note with appreciation the professionalism of NCAA and all the encouragement our airline received from the Authority in the cause of the approval process. We sincerely thank the Director-General and his team of competent professionals. We remain proud of the professionalism and competence of our engineers and will continue to make an outstanding success of this new phase of our AMO.”
Enumerating the benefits of Aero certification as an AMO provider in Nigeria, Captain Sanusi said it would save airlines the high cost of C-checks, which were in the region of between $1.8m and $2m including the cost of ferrying aircraft due for checks outside the country. According to him airlines can now pay in Nigerian currency – Naira, thereby reducing the hard currency stress on the nation’s economy, in addition to reducing aircraft down-time while away in foreign facility for maintenance.
And in line with the ease of doing business as propagated by the federal government, Captain Sanusi seized the opportunity to appeal to the federal government to grant Aero- Free Trade Zone status to allow it import Tools and Spare Parts without Customs and Excise clearances.