Nigerian govt bans Boeing 737 Max airplanes

Nigerian govt bans Boeing 737 Max airplanes
March 13 18:29 2019

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 By Nasir Kura

The federal government said Wednesday it has banned Boeing 737 Max airplanes from flying into the country’s airspace following a fatal crash of the aircraft belonging Ethiopia Airlines at the weekend.

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said the ban is with immediate effect.

“Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, that has been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane. The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, whose mandate it is to issue advisory, has already issued advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Messers Boeing.

“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out. So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.

“Regarding Air Peace and Arik orders, whether those orders were confirmed or intent, it is to our knowledge in the ministry that they won’t be in the country until the next two years or so. And this is enough period to sort out whatever problem it is with that plane. The world of aviation will not be sleeping just as we in Nigeria will not be sleeping.

“And it is normal standard practice that once a particular aircraft type is involved in accident back to back, it is withdrawn from the market and see if there is something they are doing wrong. And if it is confirmed that a particular problem say for instance, landing gear, they will issue an instruction to ground such plane worldwide until the problem is fix,” he said.

The minister said the council also approved a contract for safety and security equipment for terminal building in Minna.

“The first memo approved is for the supply and installations of X-ray machines, cargo scanners and walk through metal detectors at Enugu airport at the sum of N529,382,700 with a completion period of 12 weeks,” he said.

He said the council also approved upgrade and rehabilitation of the main intake transformer, landing system and domestic transformer of 11 KVA underground circuit at the Malamm Aminu Kano International airport at N719,332,450 with a completion period of 12 weeks.

The minister said the council also approved contract for the procurement of security and safety projects at the nation’s airports Phase II which include the supply of extreme x-tray machines at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and Port Harcourt International Airport at N4,530,955,500.

He said the council also approved the rehabilitation of Minna airport terminal building which has been abandoned for lacking of funding at N622,544,326.17 with a completion period of 12 months.