The managing director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has revealed that Nigeria lost about N1.25trillion in 2021 to neighbouring countries in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
Yadudu, who stated this at a FAAN national aviation conference (FNAC) in Abuja on Tuesday, said the amount, which is equivalent to $2.5billion (as at the dollar exchange in 2021) was because Nigeria had the largest fleet of aircraft within the subregion.
LEADERSHIP investigations further showed that local airlines, presidential fleet, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Police spend most of the N1.25 trillion annually in conducting C-check and other levels of aircraft maintenance overseas.
Most of the funds are expended on the technical personnel, airframe maintenance, landing gear, engine overhaul and aircraft spare parts.
Aeronautical engineers, airline operators and pilots told Akelicious, (an investigative organ) that this amount would have been halved if Nigeria has a major Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, a leasing company, which could also supply spares and simulators for the training of pilots.
Also, former Aero Contractors’ Maintenance Engineer, Isaac Balami, said airframe maintenance alone costs Nigeria $1 billion annually at the average of $1 million per aircraft.
According to him, “Airlines expend about $1 million on the maintenance of airframe alone and not to talk about the maintenance of landing gear and engine, which have different maintenance programme. These amounts are spent by Nigerian airlines, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigeria Air Force, the Nigeria Police, the Presidential Fleet and others that operate fixed wing aircraft. Maintenance cost is in terms of hardware and software.”
Speaking on the theme, “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport”, the FAAN boss said it has been carefully and thoughtfully chosen to proffer solutions to major industry challenges as well as chart the way forward for a National Air transport industry that will be effective, efficient and profitable, in addition to being a major catalyst to national economic growth and development.
Speaking on the challenges of the aviation industry, especially during COVID-19, he said “as you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the global socio-economic space negatively and also slowed down global travels, thus affecting aeronautical operations and revenue generation.
“As we commence the process of rebounding, it is imperative to come together to identify and analyze the positives from these challenges, with a view to consolidating on them and fostering sustainable development in our industry.
“This is the motive for inviting all stakeholders – airlines, handling companies, aviation agencies, concessionaires, security agencies to discuss issues, share ideas, and proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges facing our industry.
“Furthermore, we have assembled a crop of seasoned faculty who have distinguished themselves globally in various fields of aviation: from regulation, operation, financing, among other critical areas, to bring these issues to the fore, and also proffer lasting solutions.
“Let me state that our potentials and capacity in the global air transport industry is grossly underutilized. If we are desirous of attaining the status of a major player in the global aviation sphere, this is the time to reposition and move the industry forward.”