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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

NCAA lifts ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, approves operation in its airspace

The NCAA has approved the lifting of the ban earlier placed on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft in the Nigerian Airspace.

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has approved the lifting of the ban it had earlier placed on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft in the Nigerian Airspace with effect from February 12, 2021.

This follows a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system by International Aviation Authorities, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

This disclosure is contained in a press statement issued by the NCAA and signed by its Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Musa Nuhu.

The statement from NCAA partly reads, “On the 18th November 2020, the Authority received a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24 advising it of the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) ongoing continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

‘’This, however, made the FAA issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the following actions for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which includes:

  • Install new flight control computer software and new 737 MAX display system software;
  • Incorporate certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures, Modify horizontal stabiliser trim wire routing installations;
  • Conduct an angle of attack sensor system test; and
  • Conduct an operation readiness flight.

“NCAA recognizes that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) that comprised of International Aviation Authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC) and the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority amongst others carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system alongside FAA and NASA.

“In the light of the above, the FAA has released documents on Boeing 737 Flight Standardization Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 MAX and Safety Alert for Operators.’

The statement also says NCAA came up with some actions required of all foreign and domestic operators as a result of its recognition of the joint review of the Boeing 737 Max Safety System. Some of the actions include:

  • All intending domestic operators are required to work with the Boeing Company and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme in order to have the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued with a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness.
  • All foreign air operators that intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into Nigeria must submit evidence of compliance with the FAA AD 2020-24-02

The NCAA stated that it would continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations as violation[s] would be viewed seriously.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had about 2 years ago announced the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the Nigerian airspace, following two accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft.
  • The accidents involved Lion Air Flight 610, an Indonesia flight which crashed into the Java Sea, 13 mins after takeoff, and Ethiopian Airlines flight 320, which crashed 6 minutes after takeoff.
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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

London’s Heathrow airport slides into £2 billion annual loss

Following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s Heathrow airport has recorded a net annual loss of £2 billion in 2020.

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London’s Heathrow airport has recorded a net annual loss of £2 billion in 2020, underlining the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector.

This is as 2020, which has been identified as one of Heathrow’s most challenging years has record passengers’ level not seen since the 1970s.

This disclosure is contained in a public statement seen on the company’s website and seen by Themoneymetrics.

The company said that the number of passengers dropped to 22.1m, more than half of the numbers that travelled in January and February.  It pointed out that the overall revenue fell 62% to £1.2bn and adjusted earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to £270m.

The company said in order to weather the storm, realizing that airports have very high fixed costs, it acted quickly to cut gross operating costs by nearly £400m, reduced capital expenditure by £700m and raised £2.5bn in funding including a £600m capital injection. The firm ended the year with £3.9bn of liquidity, enough to see us through until 2023.

The airport which is one of the busiest in the world reported a 28% decline in cargo volumes, showing the cost to the economy of shutting down aviation.

Passenger planes from Heathrow are the UK’s global trading network, carrying British exports and inbound supply chain. Economic recovery will be held back until long haul passenger flights are restarted, especially to key markets such as the US

The Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye said, “We can be hopeful for 2021, with Britain on the cusp of becoming the first country in the world to safely resume international travel and trade at scale. Getting aviation moving again will save thousands of jobs and reinvigorate the economy.”

He also said, “2020 has been one of our most challenging years – but despite £2bn of losses and shrinking to passenger levels we haven’t seen since the 70s, I am hugely proud of the way that our colleagues have kept our passengers safe and the UK’s hub airport open for vital supplies throughout. We can be hopeful for 2021, with Britain on the cusp of becoming the first country in the world to safely resume international travel and trade at scale.

’Getting aviation moving again will save thousands of jobs and reinvigorate the economy, and Heathrow will be working with the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a robust plan underpinned by science and backed by industry. The Prime Minister will then have the unique opportunity to secure a global agreement on a common international standard for travel when he hosts the G7 in June. In the meantime, we need next week’s Budget to support aviation’s recovery by extending furlough and providing 100% business rates relief.”

What you should know

  • The United Kingdom is one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the aviation sector one of the most affected due to the lockdown.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had called for urgent government assistance and warned that airlines would lose $252bn (£215bn) in revenues in 2020, more than double its earlier worst-case forecast.
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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

Just-in: Governor Oyetola seeks Aviation Minister’s support for State’s airport

The Osun State Government is currently implementing a project to build an International airport at Ido.

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Osun State government has solicited the support of the Minister of Aviation for its International Airport at Ido Osun.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation, via its Twitter handle on Thursday when Governor Gboyega Oyetola visited the Minister seeking his support for the on-going project.

It tweeted, “Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has visited Aviation Minister, Sen. @hadisirika in his office to solicit support for the State’s #AirportProject. The State is currently implementing a project to build an Int’l. airport at Ido Osun, Ede North/ Egbedore LGA.”

Details soon …

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HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

NCAA meets airlines over N22 billion debt, to implement payment plan

The NCAA has met with airlines in the country over debt owed the agency and worked out a payment plan.

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The management of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has met with airlines in the country over the N22 billion debt owed the agency and decided on a payment plan.

This was disclosed by the Director-General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, according to a source in the agency that prefers anonymity.

He said, “We had a meeting with the operators on the issue of the debt collection and agreed to notify each airline on the level of debt that they have.

“We will sit down with them and do the reconciliation. We will then implement a payment plan. We do not expect everyone to pay all their money at a go because of the difficulties in the industry and economic downturn.”

According to him, the agreement would be a win-win for all parties by the time it was sorted.

Highlights of the debt

  • Domestic carriers owe the agencies $6.9 million and N19.6 billion respectively.
  • This includes 5% charge from the NCAA, passenger service charge, landing and parking fees to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and overflight charges to the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

The NCAA boss assured that the regulator understands the difficulty brought by the pandemic and will institute a payment plan that will be favourable to both the agency and operators.

What you should know

Last November, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika stated that the debts of Nigerian airlines over the last 10 years to aviation agencies is worth over N22 billion.

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