This week’s update
- The NCAA has closed down Port Harcourt NAF Base for fixed-wing operations, as the airstrip requires an upgrade of its fire cover.
- The lack of runway lighting at Lagos airport (runway 18L) and other domestic airports cost the airlines N1,5billion annually.
- The Minister of Aviation has opened the rehabilitated runway at Abuja Airport. The runway lighting has been restored. The Minister also commissioned six fire tenders, which are donated to the airport by SO Aviation, a fuel provider.
- The Minister defended the financing of her airport rehabilitation programme from the BASA Fund. So far, $60 million out of the $74 million Fund has been spent by the current minister. Formally, she wouldn’t be allowed to access the fund without prior authorisation of the National Assembly. The proposed 2012 budget of the Ministry of Aviation can be found here.
- The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have pleaded with the aviation authorities to lift the ban on Dana Air. They also rejected the proposal to limit the age of aircraft in Nigeria to fifteen years.
- Dana Air has acquired another MD83 (N935JM, to be re-registered 5N-JOY), probably already before last month’s crash. The aircraft is stored at Miami.
- The Kano State Government will fund the training of a hundred youths as pilots and engineers.
- Eleven companies have entered a bid to build an airport at Dutse for the Jigawa State Government.
- 3B-NGT is a Challenger 300 operated for a Nigerian owner (probably Femi Otedola), although the aircraft is registered in Mauritius by a company named OSA Aviation. The aircraft was put up for sale in 2012.
- A background article on the Nigerian who bought Gatwick Airport.
- Arik Air will introduce a new system of shuttle flights from Lagos to Abuja and Port Harcourt on 30 July 2012. The introduction of the shuttle will make it possible for passengers to connect a flight between the two city pairs every one or two hours.
- For those interested: the Lagos Airport Forum gathers interesting papers on airport operations in Nigeria and abroad. For example, this paper on the development of air transportation in Nigeria is an interesting read.