The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology opened its campus at Minna Airport for flight training. The Niger State Government signed a deal with NCAT last year to establish a campus at Minna, where it would station four trainer aircraft.
A statement by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport Niger state Alhaji Abdullahi explained that the training commenced with ‘ground school studies’ last year adding that the students are now ready to start ‘flight training with small aircrafts’. Abdullahi explained that due to the nature of the exercise small aircrafts will hover around the state at a low level. He explained that the public should not panic at the sight of such aircrafts as they bear no security risks to anybody.
A few updates:
- Dana Air has sent its employees on compulsory leave, since the airline’s intentions to resume services have met with political resistance.
- Med-View Airlines currently wet-leases a B737-800 (CS-TQU) from EuroAtlantic Airways.
- A second A319 (5N-FNE; ex-EI-DVU) has been painted in FirstNation Airways’ colours. The airline aims to resume commercial operations next year.
- Overland Airways has resumed its daily Abuja-Asaba service.
- Four suspects were arrested near Enugu Airport, with two boxes of fireworks in their car.
- The Aviation Investigation Bureau will soon get its own accident investigation laboratory in Abuja at a cost of US$5.5 million.
- Aero has been awarded a Best Domestic Airline of the year 2012 prize.
- The FG is planning to impose stricter rules on the operation of private, corporate and charter aircraft in Nigeria.
- Niger State has allocated N80 million for the training of ten pilots by NCAT at Zaria and Minna.
Apparently, a new aviation school was opened at Minna Airport in March 2012. EagleAir Flight Training Centre will provide various aviation training courses in collaboration with WillowAir, UK. It offers a ground school course for Private Pilot’s License and in the near future also for Commercial Pilot’s License and Instructors Rating.
Overland Airways cancelled its flights from Abuja and Lagos to Jos, Katsina and Minna. It appears these routes are not profitable, even when operated with small propellor aircraft (ATR42 and Beech 1900).
The airline retains a five weekly service (Monday-Friday) between Abuja, Ilorin, Ibadan and Lagos.
Overland Airways made some changes to its flight schedule:
- The Jos-Kano service has been dropped; Abuja-Jos-Abuja reduced to two weekly flights;
- Frequencies from Abuja to Katsina and Minna and from Lagos to Minna reduced from five to three weekly flights;
- New hub at Ilorin with five weekly flights to Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos and Minna.
This small airline seems to be stable and doing well compared to other Nigerian carriers.
While the Federal Government aims at privatising the airports under FAAN management, several state governments are currently building their own airports. Here is a list of state airports currently under construction or proposed in Nigeria:
- Akwa Ibom Airport, Uyo: partly completed
- Anambra State Airport, Umueri: proposed
- Bayelsa Airport, Yenagoa: proposed
- Asaba Airport, Delta State: under construction
- Ekiti State Airport: proposed
- Lagos State, Lekki International Airport: proposed
- Minna Cargo Airport, Niger State, reconstruction proposed
- Ogun State Cargo Airport: proposed
- Osun State Airport, Ido-Osun, under construction
- Jalingo Airport, Taraba State, under construction
- Zamfara Cargo Airport, Gusau: proposed
Time will tell whether all proposed airports will be built eventually. However, a national master plan should be developed to ensure the economic viability of the existing and new airports. Building an airport seems to be one of the most popular prestige projects a Nigerian state governor can think of nowadays.
Overland Airways opened new routes to Jos, Kano, Katsina and Minna this week.
Overland now operates the following routes daily on weekdays:
Overland Airways operates two ATR 42-500s, two or three B1900Ds, and a Saab 340.