Why air­craft main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties are needed –AON

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

Nigeria must es­tab­lish an air­craft Main­te­nance, Re­pair and Over­haul ( MRO) fa­cil­ity to max­imise the ben­e­fits in the avi­a­tion sec­tor, the Chair­man of Air­line Oper­a­tors of Nigeria (AON), Cap­tain No­gie Meg­gi­son, has said.

Meg­gi­son said merely es­tab­lish­ing a na­tional car­rier will not de­velop the sec­tor, adding that air­craft MROs have the ca­pac­ity to cre­ate thou­sands of jobs and re­tain huge sums of money in the coun­try that indige­nous car­ri­ers spent on the re­pairs of their air­craft over­seas.

The Avi­a­tion Road Map, de­vel­oped by the im­me­di­ate past avi­a­tion min­is­ter Princess Stella Od­uah, has on the top of its agenda, the es­tab­lish­ment of a na­tional car­rier, among oth­ers.

The Su­per­vis­ing Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion Chief Sa­muel Or­tom has con­tin­ued with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the roadmap be­cause he said it is a laud­able pro­gramme that should be sup­ported by all Nige­ri­ans.

Or­tom also promised govern­ment would in­vest in crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try which may in­clude the MRO.

Speak­ing in an in­ter­view in La­gos, Capt. Meg­gis­son, who is also the Pres­i­dent of Jed Air, said es­tab­lish­ing an air­craft main­te­nance fa­cil­ity in the coun­try will as­sist to train the horde of avi­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing air­craft en­gi­neers.

Meg­gis­son called on govern­ment to con­sider grant­ing mul­ti­ple en­try points into Nigeria by for­eign car­ri­ers, say­ing: “Un­friendly busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment where oper­a­tors grap­ple with mul­ti­ple charges has not ac­cel­er­ated the process that would lead to pri­vate sec­tor play­ers show­ing in­ter­est in set­ting up air­craft re­pair cen­tres.”

“If some of the in­ter­ven­tion fund given by govern­ment were chan­neled into the es­tab­lish­ment of air­craft re­pairs fa­cil­ity, the in­dus­try would have made some progress. I don’t think the na­tional car­rier is the is­sue. Our poli­cies are the is­sue. We had a na­tional car­rier in the de­funct Nigeria Air­ways. One of the main is­sue was not be­ing able to pay for its main­te­nance bills of air­planes scat­tered all over the world in­clud­ing Brazil, Ire­land, Ger­many, France, USA, and Is­rael.”

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