‘Planned aircraft maintenance facility’ll boost private operations’

Private aircraft owners under the aegis of the National Association of Private Aircraft owners have said the planned aircraft maintenance facility in Abuja will boost their operations.

The President of the association, Alex Nwuba, said this against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s approval of land for the establishment of the facility.

“It will help private aircraft operations, aside from supporting commercial airlines. We hope the government will see this through,” he said.

The Federal Government had said a multi-billion naira aircraft maintenance facility would also be sited in the 12,000 hectares of land earmarked for national carrier and second Abuja runway projects.

On Thursday, The Federal Ministry of Aviation received a certificate of occupancy for the 12,000 hectares of land in Abuja to execute some key aviation projects.

A statement issued by the acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, stated that the certificate was issued to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, by the FCT Minister, Muhammed Bello.

It stated that the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Federal Ministry of  Aviation, Mohammed Shehu, who represented Sirika, described the second runway project for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as one of the key facilities to be constructed on the land.

“The second runway project was awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nigeria  Limited and the site was handed over to the company,” the statement read in part.

It added, “Other projects that would be executed as part of the aviation roadmap include Maintenance Repair and Overhaul centre, aviation leasing company, agro-allied cargo terminals, aerotropolis or airport city.

“Others include the national carrier, Africa Aerospace and Aviation University, and second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.”

It stated that some of the benefits that would accrue to Nigeria at the completion of the projects were employment opportunities, enhanced transfer of technology, increase in foreign exchange earnings and growth in Gross Domestic Product contribution.

The agency added that the other benefits were backward integration of aircraft maintenance and repair facilities for both domestic and international carriers, improvement in the ease of doing business in Nigeria, reduction in capital flight; increase in Bilateral Air Services Agreements with other countries, among others.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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