FG sets aside N2.9bn for local assembling of aircraft

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The federal executive council has approved N2.29 billion the assembling of light aircraft at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria in Kaduna State.

The minister of aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to journalists after the FEC meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday and presided over by the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

Recall that Sirika said in August 2021 that the government was going to partner with Magnus aircraft industry in Hungary for the project.

He said the partnership is to assemble aircraft locally, from start to finish adding that the deal would later morph into aircraft manufacturing.

“If we venture with them, we may start with assembling plants and later manufacturing,” Sirika said when he returned from an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Headquarters in Pogany, Hungary, in August 2021.

Sirika said today that the renewed demand for the “spin recovery aircraft” necessitated the production of the light aircraft which he said is durable for the training of military and civilian pilots.

He noted that the first set of the assembled aircraft is expected to fly within the last four months of the Buhari regime.

Asked why the government chose Zaria as the assembling base, Sirika said the existing college of aviation provides a ready facility which will save the cost of building another.

He added that situating the plant in Zaria further expands the capacity of NCAT as a federal government agency.

The minister also revealed that the FEC approved N546.11 million for the procurement and installation of Category IIIC landing system in 15 airports nationwide.

He stated that the installation will begin from the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and the Katsina Airport.

The minister explained that the Cat IIIC landing system enables pilots to land in zero-visibility conditions.

Asked about the current state of the Nigeria Air project, Sirika, said the takeoff of the airline is unstoppable.

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