This week’s updates:
- Domestic airline are considering to stop flights to Kano, Maiduguri and Yola due to the insecurity in the northern regions of the country.
- Only two of IRS Airlines’ five F100s are operational at the moment. The airline now operates flights to Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos.
- ATR presented its turboprops to the Federal Government last week.
- New en route air traffic control radar for the Nigerian flight information region should be operational by April 12, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
- Nigeria is setting up an Air Disaster Assistance Scheme.
- The Federal Government has approved US-based company Associated Air Center (AAC) to become an authorized maintenance organisation for the Presidential Air Fleet.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is going back to court hoping to terminate its agreement with the owners of Lagos MMA Terminal 2. Furthermore, FAAN cancelled the lease of two plots of land to Bi-Courtney on which a hotel and conference centre were to be constructed.
- A good commentary on the consequences of political interference in the Nigerian aviation sector.
- The NCAA is trying to resolve the labour conflict between Aero and its staff. Anyhow, the airline’s operational capability has to be re-validated by the NCAA before it can resume operations.
- Evergreen Apple will organise the first Nigerian Business Aviation Conference on 7 May 2013.
- Bristow Nigeria will soon take delivery of a Sikorsky S-76C (ex-G-CGRU), which left Norwich earlier this week for Lagos.
A few things worth mentioning:
- A group of investors plans to construct a business aircraft maintenance base at the Ido-Osun Airport this year. The State Government began building the new airport last year.
- The renovation of the airport terminals at Benin and Kano will be ready this month, while those at Enugu, Jos, Kaduna and Port Harcourt should be delivered in April 2013.
- SkyBird Air is in the final stage of obtaining its AOC for commercial flight services.
- Dana Air added a sixth return flight from Lagos to Abuja on Thursdays and Fridays and a fifth flight on Sundays. The airline also announced it will start flying to Port Harcourt again ‘very soon’.
- The latest issue of Arik Wings is online.
- New reports on the fraudulent origins of Arik Air’s start-up capital circulated in the media this week.
- Aero will add a second Dash 8-Q400 (ex-G-JEDN) to its fleet; the aircraft is stored at Exeter.
- The BAe 125-800B (5N-BOO; ex-5N-AGZ) which formerly belonged to the Presidential Air Fleet has been resprayed at Lanseria. The aircraft is registered to Gyro Air.
- Wings Aviation’s Beech 200 King Air (5N-IHS) has been parked at Lanseria for years now. Perhaps it will be operated again by JedAir.
- Four ex-Sonair S76 helicopters are parked at Lagos. The Angolan registered helicopters are apparently acquired by Hak Air.
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) informs air passengers that they are entitled to compensation from airlines for flight cancellations.
- Saudia Cargo will increase its weekly frequency from Hongkong to Lagos.
- Since December 2012, Airstream Cargo has been operating a B737-400F (S5-ABV), leased from Solinair, out of Lagos, using Axiom Air’s call sign.
- The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recorded 14,3 million air travellers in 2012, according to a press release. This is a decrease of four per cent in passengers compared to 2011, although the numbers given in the statement conflict with those on FAAN’s website.
- The Federal Government has implemented a duty waiver for the import of aircraft and spare parts. Foreign registered aircraft based in Nigeria are excluded from the waiver.
- TopBrass Aviation took delivery of its third Dash 8-Q300 (5N-TBA) last week, meanwhile another aircraft of the same airline (5N-TBB) was spotted at Maastricht for maintenance.
- Reportedly, Aero will soon accept its first Dash 8-Q400 (5N-???; ex-G-JEDO), which was ferried to Norwich for painting. One of Aero’s B737-400s (5N-BJA) is currently at Bournemouth for a new coat of paint.
- Overland Airways apparently accepted its second ATR 72-200 (5N-BPF; ex-F-WNUF). A third ATR 72 is being prepared for the airline at Toulouse. Meanwhile, Overland is recruiting pilots and mechanics for B737NG aircraft, meaning that the B737-800 (EI-EZB) may join its fleet after all.
- Dana Air added a fifth return flight between Lagos and Abuja on weekdays. The airline intends to re-start services to Port Harcourt before the end of February 2012.
- A Nigerian official blamed a pilot error for last year’s Dana Air crash, even though the official report is yet to be published.
- Cross River State announced that Bebi Airstrip, serving Obudu Mountain Resort, will get a regular commercial service in March 2013. The state government acquired an aircraft – probably the Dash 8-200 (5N-GRS) purchased from Rivers State, rather than the mentioned ATR 42 – to serve the airstrip.
- Cross River State also wants the runway of Calabar Airport extended. The airport recently got the status of cargo airport.
- A Hawker 4000 (5N-NOC) belonging to NNPC overran the runway at Warri on 6 February 2013.
- Omni Air’s Makurdi-based Air Tractor 502 (5N-BPV).
- Arik Air and IRS Airlines are no longer making night stops at Maiduguri for security reasons.
- The 2003 white paper on the mismanagement of Nigeria Airways has been dug up again by local media.
- The Nigerian Air Force has only one serviceable trainer aircraft at its Kaduna Base. Three Do 228s will be refurbished.
- The company responsible for the dismantling of derelict aircraft (video) in Nigeria paid N800,000 for each aircraft.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is set to improve the nation’s radar control. However, pilots dispute the claim that the TRACON project resulted in a complete radar coverage of the Nigerian airspace.
On Monday, 21 January 2012, the renovated General Aviation Terminal at Abuja Airport was inaugurated by the Deputy Speaker of the Senate. The old domestic terminal will now be used for unscheduled flights, as well as the annual Hajj flights. According to the Minister of Aviation:
It was not only that the old domestic terminal at this airport did not meet acceptable international standard, it was also not befitting of an airport in the country’s capital city, which has been described as the fastest growing capital city in the world. The airport also did not have general aviation and cargo terminals irrespective of the fact that it had long become the second busiest airport in the country, after the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja. All these inadequacies have now been addressed, under the airport remodeling project. Work on the remodeling of this terminal, which started in October 2010, entailed the expansion and modernization of the old domestic terminal. This GAT, which will handle all non-scheduled flights at this airport, has a full complement of such modern facilities as lounges, including one for pilots, offices, duty rooms, private airline offices, a conference room, dining hall, shops and a game room, for recreation.
The Minister of Aviation also disclosed that work will soon commence on a new international terminal at Abuja, until its completion the current international terminal will be used for both domestic and international flights. Overall, the first phase of airport re-modelling is nearing its completion, and eleven more airport terminals will be renovated during the second phase that will start later this year. Furthermore, the FAAN intends to build General Aviation Terminals for private and corporate jet owners at Enugu, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Yola.
There are very few aviation photographers in Nigeria. Some excellent series of pictures were made by Ken Iwelumo (click here and here) and Akinwale Makinde (click here and here) over the past years, despite the restrictions on photographing at Nigerian airports. Hopefully, more aviation enthusiasts will be able to share the Nigerian aviation scene with the wider world in the near future.
Blogger Chippla Vandu wrote a nice piece on spotting at Lagos in the 1990s a couple of years ago.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recorded a total of 13.4 million passengers in 2012. This is an increase of 2.4 million over the 11 million passengers handled in 2011. The breakdown of the numbers per airport is not yet available.
Note: FAAN gave the following statement refuting the abovementioned numbers:
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria wishes to correct a false information stating that 13.4 million was recorded as the passenger traffic for the year 2012. The figure said to emanate from FAAN is false in its entirety. For the avoidance of doubt, the traffic figure for the year 2012 is being collated as at press time. We recorded a positive passenger growth of 17.2% between January – June, 2009 and not a negative growth as reported in some news outlets. The negative growth recorded was in the international aircraft movement as a result of the airlines using larger aircraft. This however did not affect the international passenger growth. The passenger traffic figure published for the year 2010 puts the passenger traffic at 13, 981, 677 while that of 2011 stands at 14, 834, 269. This clarification has become necessary as the incorrect figure is being quoted as authentic. The Authority wishes to place on record its appreciation for inquiries being made to verify information.
FAAN also announced that the renovation of Kaduna Airport will be ready in three months. Furthermore, the agency will install electronic toll gates at Abuja Airport to improve the traffic flow. However, FAAN’s efforts to remove all derelict aircraft from airports across the country are hampered by the aircrafts’ owners.
Chanchangi Airlines has once more resumed scheduled flights from Lagos to Abuja and Kaduna. Chanchangi operates a single B737-300 (5N-BMB), according to the following schedule:
- Kaduna-Lagos 07:00-08:00
- Lagos-Abuja 09:00-10:00
- Abuja-Lagos 11:45-12:45
- Lagos-Kaduna 17:00-18:00
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has (re-)granted air operator’s certificates (AOC) to Dana Air and SkyJet Aviation.
Dana Air’s AOC was suspended in June this year after one of its aircraft crashed. The airline intends to resume domestic services with a fleet of five MD83s, but will only be allowed to start flying after fully compensating the families of the crash victims.
SkyJet Aviation is currently a charter airline, operating from Kaduna. According to the airline’s owner, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the new airline will begin scheduled flight operations with five aircraft
A charter company called Jet Taxi Transport Ltd operates an Embraer Phenom 100 and a Hawker 800XP from its bases at Abuja and Lagos. None of the aircraft have been identified yet, but two Phenom 100s (OE-FHT; ex-G-ROOB, and OE-FHO; ex-G-RUBO) have been spotted at Lagos and Kaduna. The airline is part of the G-Eurafric Group.
Dana Air ordered two Phenom 100s and one Phenom 300 in 2007 for its VIP division, but that order was never fulfilled.
A couple of short updates:
- Nigeria and India are planning to renegotiate their bilateral air service agreement, while Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago may also enter into a BASA.
- Air Algerie wants to start flights from Algiers to Lagos.
- Bombardier as well as Boeing are considering to help Nigeria develop a MRO facility.
- Air Nigeria’s repossessed B737s have been flown out of Lagos.
- The Imo State Government intends to build a new airport terminal at Owerri Airport through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement.
- Taraba State is planning to build an airstrip on the Mambilla plateau. It would be the second airstrip to be constructed by the State Governor, who also has an airstrip in his home village of Suntai. The state capital’s Jalingo Airport, however, is not yet operational for commercial flights nor has Air Taraba taken of yet.
- The presentation given by the SG of the NCAA at the International Helicopter Safety Symposium 2011.
- Does anyone know more about Private Flyers International? It’s a private flying club, based at Kaduna, operating a fleet consisting of a Cessna 172, a Cessna 206, a Piper PA-23 Aztec (5N-BKE), a Jabiru 430, and a Cessna Caravan.
- The airlines are expected to raise their domestic air fares.
- The Minister of Aviation wants to invite foreign companies to audit the domestic airlines. Experts complain that the Ministry is neglecting the air safety projects.
- FAAN has announced that it will remove 65 unserviceable aircraft from various airports in the country.
Some pictures of the ongoing airport renovation programme can be found on the website of the FAAN: Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. They give a bit of an idea of what can be expected from the remodelling exercise. In the cases of smaller airports, it would have been a better and perhaps cheaper option to build complete new terminals and knock down the old ones altogether. All domestic operations at Lagos airport should have been moved to MMA2 until the completion of the new GA terminal, rather than continuing operations from this temporal terminal. Hopefully, the contractors will deliver a proper job, as they are being pressured to finish the work quickly.
Seven Do 228 aircraft, stored at Old Kaduna Airport, have been dismantled recently. One Do 228 (5N-DOG) was sold by DANA and exported to Australia in 2007.
Arik Air and IRS Airlines have suspended their flight operations to Kaduna Airport, citing the insecurity in Kaduna State. IRS Airlines announced it will resume operations immediately after the imposed curfew is lifted by the authorities.
The five-day Nigerian Air Force Air Expo kicked off at Kaduna Airport yesterday. President Goodluck Jonathan opened the air and static show, which started with an aerial display involving several NAF aircraft.
A nice series of pictures of this year’s show is made by Ken Iwelumo.
The Federal Government announced it approved the acquisition of a N1.73 billion Cessna Citation CJ4 surveillance aircraft for the Nigeria Customs Service.
A Chengdu F-7NI of the Nigerian Air Force crashed yesterday near Kaduna Airport. The pilot survived the accident that happened during a training mission. It’s the third loss of this type of fighter aircraft for the NAF in less than fourteen months time, after it entered service in 2010. A F-7NI crashed at Kano Airport in March 2011 and a FT-7NI near Gboko in May 2011. This means that the Air Force has two FT-7NI (training variant) and ten F-7NI fighters remaining in its fleet.
The Nigerian Air Force will organise its second international airshow on 15-19 May 2012 at Kaduna. Click on the banner for more information.
SkyJet Aviation (owned by the Barbedos Group and based in Kaduna) acquired two Embraer Legacy 600s late last year (ZS-LRK and ZS-UBS). Barbedos Group Limited was appointed as Embraer as its executive jets authorized sales representative for West Africa. SkyJet Aviation also operates several other aircraft (5N-BNM; ZS-KAA; ZS-KBS) for charter purposes.
A few short updates:
- Arik Air has officially passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
- Angry villagers near Kaduna Airport blocked an IRS Airlines aircraft from taking off to protest the closure of a footpath near the airport by the FAAN.
- The Federal Government has granted Kenya Airways permission to operate 14 flights a week into Lagos and four flights a week into Abuja. Meanwhile, the authorities still have to approve Ethiopian Airlines’ request to operate a B777-200LR on the Addis Ababa-Lagos route.
- Several projects are ongoing to improve the aviation infrastructure in Nigeria.