Nigeria has acquired a custom made calibration aircraft. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who took delivery of the aircraft Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport said the last time Nigeria had such was twenty years ago under cover aviation flying unit.
“The purpose of this aircraft is to calibrate our equipment and aids in the country for the purpose of flight operations, the value is about $8.5 million”.
“We used to have one in Nigeria but for the last two decades, we never had one. What informed us to procure this aircraft was that when we were reconstructing the Abuja runway, we certainly towards the end, we needed to recalibrate all those landing aids at the time which is the requirement. This is to ensure they are working in perfect order”.
“We didn’t have the capability as country. The only people close to us that had is ASECNA which is owned by french speaking countries but the airccraft is domiciled in Niger. We approached them but they didn’t have a slot for us and if I didn’t get the support of far away South Africa, we wouldn’t beat the six weeks deadline”.
Sirika who thanked President Buhari for making it possible said, “Mssrs Cross Wind LTD won the contract. This aircraft was purpose built for Nigeria, it is equipped and has Now been delivered. This is the key”.
The Minister said more equipments are expected
“In the next couple of months also, we wil lunch the fully automated fire fighting equipment in Zaria, also strengthening that institution. And all these are targeted towards flight safety operations”.
Speaking on the benefits of having the calibration aircraft, Sirika said;
“Nigeria will saving alot of money by procuring this aircraft. I know I paid about $500,000 to when our equipment were due last year to South African contractor to carry out this task. If you say every six months, we will do this, that would be half a million every six months. So when we do it sixteen times, the value of the aircraft would have been paid. Not only that, we will commercialize it, generate revenue and keep.our industry safe”.
According to Air Commondor Hambali Tukur (Rtd), the CEO Cross Wings International LTD,
“It took about nine months from when we applied to the completion and installation of equipment”.
” It was built in Textron Aviation Services, Kansas, United States” .
“The procurement of this aircraft will greatly improve safety in our aviation”.