NASENI seeks collaboration with NCAA on made-in-Nigeria helicopters

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*L-R: The director of airworthiness standards at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr. Ita Awak, NCAA director general, Capt. Muhtar Usman, and the executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), during a courtesy visit to theNCAA at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

Ime Akpan

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has partnered with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to provide relevant guides in its plan to produce made-in-Nigeria helicopters.

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to the director general of NCAA, Capt. Mukhtar Usman, the chief executive and vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Muhammed Sanni Haruna said the agency reached out to potential partners and manufacturers of helicopters in line with its mandate in aviation and aeronautics technology.

He said NCAA “is an important stakeholder in this effort and that is why we reached out to you for support and guidance.”

“In fact we have a centre which we call rapid prototyping centre. Any machine that you want to reproduce, we have facilities, advance manufacturing equipment for that matter on how to give us something fast but then aviation is a high safety and security industry that certain things, we must wait for certification from here (NCAA) before we proceed further.”

“We are confident that through your support and that of other stakeholders, the made-in Nigeria Helicopter project will be a success,” he said.

Haruna said NASENI is charged with the responsibility of fast-tracking home-initiated industrialisation adding that it had placed an order for a Dynali H3 easy flyer sport ultra-light helicopter for the purpose of reverse engineering.

He said Dynali Helicopter manufacturer was found to be a willing partner, adding that the helicopter type was selected because” its technology is easier to copy, learn, domesticate and modify.”

“They are willing to build the capacity of our staff for maintenance, repair, assembly and manufacturing of helicopters in Nigeria,” he added.

The NASENI executive assured that before the end of 2019, staff of the agency would have mastered the art of building the helicopters, adding that the agency had in the past produced unmanned aerial vehicle (drones).

“Research and Development is not a one- or two-day affair but we have facilities for reverse engineering.

“In line with NASENl’s mandate in aviation and aeronautics technology, ministerial and presidential directives to the agency to develop made-in-Nigeria helicopters, the agency reached out to potential partners and manufacturers of helicopters and eventually found Dynali Helicopter Manufacturing Company of Belgium as a willing partner to fast-track technology acquisition and domestication.

The company is the manufacturer of a wide range and models of Dynali H3 easy flyer sport ultra light helicopters. The company produces the simplest, easy to maintain and operate helicopters of high quality and of international standards.

Dynali Helicopter was selected because their technology is easier to copy, learn, domesticate and modify. They are willing to build the capacity of our staff for maintenance, repair, assembly, and manufacturing of helicopters in Niger’

The helicopter has been produced, tested and ready for delivery to Nigeria. In order to take delivery of the aircraft, we have requested for a clearance to import the aircraft from the ministry of transportation through our supervising ministry, ministry of science and technology.

Responding, Usman assured that NCAA would partner with the agency to provide guidance in line with global standard and recommended practices in aviation.

“As you know aviation is highly regulated, it is international in nature and that is why the NASENI came today for us to partner and work to ensure that international standard and recommended practices are maintained because aviation is high precision industry, it involves safety and security,” he said.

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