After investing $10m, NCAA certifies 7Star Hangar to conduct aircraft maintenance

• Certification to save $1bn annual capital flight

AIRLINE business in Nigeria and the West African region may soon heave a sigh of relief in the area of aircraft maintenance as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has granted 7Star Global Hangar Ltd, an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) the right to operate an all-inclusive Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility.

Commencement of maintenance at the MRO facility which once effective, will not only serve Nigerian airlines but the entire West Africa will save the region a whopping annual $1 billion used in flying aircraft offshore on the maintenance of checks carried on different types of aircraft.

Speaking on the feat, the Chief Executive Officer of 7Star Global Hangar, Isaac Balami, who coincidentally is an aircraft engineer and former National President for Aircraft pilots and Engineers in Nigeria for eight years, cited the numerous benefits of having such a facility to airlines in Nigeria and the entire region.

According to Balami “7StarGlobal is the first independent privately owned MRO in West and Central Africa. I say independent because it is a stand-alone and we were registered in 2012 and since then for about nine years, we have been back-to-back pursuing our license and Variation with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. We are happy today to announce that after over 15 months of the NCAA reviewing our variation and our operational specifications (OpsSpecs) and also expanding our capability list in Wheels and Brakes, NDT etc, we have finally finished our phase five which is the last stage in the certification process and we have been granted final approval.

“The huge capital in aircraft maintenance we often experience, amounting to over $1billion that is annually spent in West Africa alone is going to help to create jobs here in Nigeria.”

On the maintenance specification, Balami while saying the organisation can carry out operations as permitted by the NCAA further declared “We are happy to say goodbye to four years Inspection/Maintenance on Augusta 139 helicopters which most VIPs, even the presidency operates. Most oil and gas companies (Mobil, Shell, and Chevron) operate it. We also have EC 155 up to 6000 hours/12 years’ inspection, on the Learjet 45, about 9,600 hours’ inspection.

“On the small Cessna aircraft, we have about 100 hours/annual inspection. On the Bombardier DHC-8 100/200/300 (C Checks/8000FH), DHC-8 400 (C checks/8000FH), Challenger 601/604/605 (2400 hours inspections), Hawker Siddeley HS 125-850/900 (A-G Inspections), Bell 429 (5000 hours/five years inspections), Embraer 135/145 (Up  5000 hours/48 months inspections), Embraer 600/650 (20000 hours/96 Months Inspections) and Boeing 737-300/400/500 (Up to 8A inspections), we have the highest inspection in most of the Aircraft as stipulated in the manufacturer’s manual. That means a lot of job creation for the aviation industry and we are happy. I can tell you categorically that aside from about 10 expatriates that we have to transfer technology and train our engineers on some few areas that we are not yet strong at, we already have about 68 local engineers that have the manufacturers’ type-course on those aircraft. They are experienced, they are current and most of them with at least 20-30 years of experience working on these aircrafts and working across the globe (US, UK, Canada, and the Middle East). So we have one of the best teams on the ground. I can tell you that your aircraft is safe with 7Star Global Hangar.”

7Star Hangar presently occupies about 45,000 square meters of land in Lagos airport, a facility leased from the Nigerian Air Force Investment, partly from AMCON, and Arik airline, out of which 25,000 square meters the firm is currently operating on now.

The firm had just secured an additional over 20,000 square meters from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Lagos thereby making 7Star one of the biggest operators in terms of access to land in Lagos Airport.

7Star will be focusing on aircraft Maintenance Repair and overhaul (MRO), describing it as quite exciting because operations are starting with aircrafts that are more often taken overseas for inspection.

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