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.
- The Senate has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to recover a loan of N35.5 billion from Jimoh Ibrahim. The sum came from the Aviation Intervention Fund and was intended for Air Nigeria.
- The Senate again asked the Federal Government to revoke Dana Air’s AOC and to fire the DG of the NCAA for negligence of duty.
- A few images of the clearing of stored aircraft at Lagos Airport. A DHL B727F and NICON Airways B727 are the first aircraft to be dismantled.
- FAAN announced that it will construct twelve cargo terminals across the country to boost the export of perishable goods.
- FAAN has accepted six refurbished fire tenders. Jalingo Airport is currently the only airport in Nigeria without a fire tender.
- Runway lighting will be installed at Enugu, Yola and Owerri, and these airports will be open for night operations from 24 March 2013 onwards.
- The promised duty waiver on aircraft and aircraft parts is yet to be implemented by the Federal Government.
- Ticket prices have dropped on domestic routes in the recent weeks, because of increased supply.
- Arik Air quit its Abuja-Katsina route.
- Arik Air issued a RFP to finance four Bombardier jets.
- ExecuJet Nigeria in Lagos has been named a Line Maintenance Facility (LMF) for Bombardier business jets.
- VistaJet asked the support of the Federal Government to expand its activities in Nigeria. Apparently, the charter airline currently operates on the AOC of SkyPower Express.
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.
Med-View Airline has uploaded schedules for its new daily Abuja-Yola and Lagos-Owerri service:
- LOS-QOW VL2110 07:30-08:45
- QOW-LOS VL2111 09:30-10:45
- ABV-YOL VL2102 10:30-11:40 (Weekdays)
- ABV-YOL VL2102 11:00-12:10 (Saturday)
- ABV-YOL VL2104 13:55-15:05 (Sunday)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 12:30-13:40 (Weekdays)
- YOL-ABV VL2103 13:00-14:10 (Saturday)
- YOL-ABV VL2105 15:45-16:55 (Sunday)
The flights to Yola originate from Lagos, meaning that passengers can travel from Lagos to Yola with a stopover in Abuja.
Med-View Airline carried 32,956 passengers in the first two months of its operations. A B737-800 (CS-TQU) is wet-leased from EuroAtlantic Airways, and a second B737-800 will join the airline’s fleet in March 2013. Med-View will then commence flights to Kano and Sokoto.
The governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, was involved in an air crash near Yola Airport today. He was flying his own Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (5N-BMJ) and took-off from Jalingo Airport at 17:20 enroute to Yola. The six people onboard all survived the accident, but are hospitalised with various degrees of injuries. According to the Ministry of Aviation:
An aircraft, Cessna 208 with 6 souls on board including crew, operated by the Taraba State Government departed Jalingo, Taraba State for Yola this evening and reported contact with the Yola Control Tower (1720Z) and field in sight at 38 miles estimating landing at 1730Z. The pilot subsequently lost contact with Yola Control Tower and subsequent effort to raise the aircraft failed. Search & Rescue was immediately activated and site of incident located with all victims alive with various degrees of injuries. The victims have been evacuated to the hospital for treatment pending further investigation of the incident.
The governor is an aviation enthusiast who obtained his flying licence in 2010. Reportedly, he owns a private helicopter and two light aircraft for which he built an airstrip at his home village. Earlier this year, Taraba State acquired a ERJ145 to set up a state airline called Air Taraba.
Med-View Airline, reportedly, will use two B737-400s (5N-BPA and 5N-BPB), configured with 12 business and 132 economy seats, for its planned domestic operations. The 21-year-old Boeings were formerly operated by Olympic Airways. The aircraft will be ferried from Romania to Nigeria this week. The airline intends to fly to Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Yola, as soon as it gets permission from the NCAA to commence commercial scheduled operations. Various flight tests will take place as part of the NCAA certification process in the coming weeks.
Currently, Med-View Airline has also wet-leased a B747-300 and a B767 for the forthcoming Haji operation.
Two other airlines – likely TopBrass Aviation and Hak Air – are also hopeful to receive their Air Operator Certificate shortly.
- The Nigerian Air Force inaugurated a helicopter maintenance hangar for its fleet at Lagos Airport.
- Nigeria has successfully concluded a pilot project to change to satellite based navigation system.
- A ring road and an additional car park will be constructed at Abuja Airport.
- Akwa Ibom State Government has awarded a contract worth about N12 billion for the construction of a taxiway at Uyo Airport.
- Delta State Government has approved a N7.4 billion contract for the demolition of hills surrounding Asaba Airport to allow for bigger aircraft to land. The airport has still to pass the necessary safety audits.
- Kebbi State Government has disclosed that it will upgrade the Ambursa Airstrip to an international airport.
- Nasarawa State approved a N1 billion budget to carry forward with plans to build an cargo airport at Kwandere, near the state capital Lafia.
- A nice report on the numerous unused state airports in Nigeria can be found here, but it seems that Zamfara State and Ogun State abandoned plans to construct cargo airports.
- The Nigerian-owned Challenger 300 (ex 3B-SSD) has been repainted and is now registered VQ-BMJ. Officially, the aircraft is owned by Churchill Finance Services, but it was put up for sale in 2012.
- Air Nigeria signed a deal with EgyptAir to train its A330 crews, so it seems the airline is still planning to introduce two A330-200s to its fleet this year.
- The January 2012 Nigeria Aviation Fact Sheet of the US Embassy in Nigeria.
- The NCAA has published its Passengers’s Bill of Rights aimed at protecting airline customers in Nigeria.
- Reportedly, Prince Arthur Ikpechukwu Eze acquired a second GIV (M-PZPZ); he already owns 5N-PZE.
IRS Airlines makes new appointments and announces the acquisition of new aircraft to resume its services to Calabar and Enugu. Flights to both cities commenced in March 2009, but have since been suspended.
According to the latest known schedule IRS Airlines serves Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Maiduguri and Yola with two F100s, two F28s, and an ERJ 145LR leased from the Bauchi State government. The airline has no functional website.
One of the F100s (5N-HIR) is currently at Bratislava for scheduled maintenance with Austrian Airlines Technik.