An aviation expert, Mr Trevor Henry, has urged Nigeria to create an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility to enhance growth of the industry rather than floating a national airline.
Henry, the Head of Commercial, Med-view Airline, said this in Lagos during the Nigerian Aviation Business Exhibition (NABE).
The NABE was organised by Mr & Miss Aviation Nigeria (MAMAN), in collaboration with the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).
The theme of the forum was “Opportunities in the Nigerian Aviation industry, its Complexity and its Needed Human Capital.”
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) is an essential requirement to ensure that aircraft are maintained in pre-determined conditions of airworthiness to safely transport passengers and cargo.
Henry said that government should channel the money meant to get a national carrier into having an MRO facility and simulator facility where aircraft would be maintained and pilots trained.
Henry said that lack of an MRO facility has had a negative impact on the survival of airlines in the country as airlines struggled to maintain their fleet or stay in business for consistently long period as seen in other climes.
According to him, airlines take their aircraft and pilots outside the country for maintenance and training.
The aviation expert noted that the establishment of MRO and simulator facility would address the issue of capital flight and integrate more youths through job creation into the aviation industry.
“The Ethiopian Government has done what I am speaking about and they are reaping the benefits, I believe the money and efforts of Nigerian government should be channeled into similar things,” he said.
The proposed national airline was expected to gulp 8.8 million dollars preliminary cost and 300 million dollars as take-off cost.
Capt. Josiah Choms, the Managing Director, Caverton Helicopters, said that for the nation’s aviation industry to progress considering the ever changing technology advancement, the skill set of the sector’s workforce must be constantly improved.
He said that the development and sustainability of the aviation sector was hinged upon strict adherence to safety procedure and proficient personnel.
Ms Ololade Adenekan, Project Manager, MAMAN, said that Nigeria was blessed with vibrant youths, and the aviation industry should not suffer inadequacy of professionals.
She said that the forum was to equip youths with requisite knowledge needed to acquire relevant skills and opportunities in the sector toward boosting economic growth.
Ebuka Ugochukwu, the Communications Executive, NACC, said that the objective of the forum resonated with the chamber’s commitment to empower businesses with exposure that would boost their performance and increase wealth creation.
Ugochukwu said that growth of the aviation sector would impact on other sectors of the economy, create jobs and knowledge transfer while boosting the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).