Nigeria Set to Begin Local Aircraft Assembly


The Nigerian Government has approved the sum of N2.3 billion to kick start the local assembly of Magnus Centennial Aircraft at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Kaduna State. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister stated that this is a major first step towards producing a made in Nigeria aircraft manufacturing hub.

Magnus aircraft, Sirika revealed, that the FEC approved N2.3 billion for the local assembly for the Magnus Centennial Aircraft, which will come alongside training. He said: “I am happy to announce that today is the reality; we will indeed assemble the Magnus aircraft and will continue to do so, in not too distant future, by God’s grace; the industry of civil aviation will begin to manufacture right here in the country.

“But we are beginning by assembling these training aircraft; and it will happen very soon. So, the memorandum has been passed in the council. The manufacturer of the aeroplane is based in Hungary; and the total contract sum is N2.3 billion; the completion period is 18 months.’’

The Minister also added that despite the civil aviation industry stopping the spin and spin recovery training programme, there is now a need for such training programmes to commence as it enables students to identify when they get into the spin situation, and how to recover.

“We were all trained like that as pilots; but because airplanes become more and more technologically advanced, the need for a spin and spin recovery didn’t arise; because they are becoming more and more sophisticated.

“But again, the world realised that we still get into spin; or there is a need for this skill to be developed for recovery out of a spin situation. So, most of the manufacturers stopped producing trainers for that purpose; and so there are not many people now that do that manufacture.” The minister said.

He added that the company, Messrs Magnus, realised the gap and began to produce aeroplanes that can get into a spin and out of it so that students can be trained on that.

Concerning the plane features, Sirika said the FG intends to assemble them locally, citing that the plane is fully aerobatic; which will be beneficial to the Armed Forces. In his words: “So this aeroplane is fully aerobatic; goes into aerobatics; and I think the Nigerian Air Force and the Air Force around the region will be interested and excited by this development. We are taking the lead in civil aviation.

“We intend to produce them here, assemble them here in policy; then in the future, you know, sell them out to where we’re interested around the world.

“So this will happen and I think the first one or two aircraft will happen here in Nigeria and to fly them within the remaining four months that we have as a government.

“So it is another item that is ticked on our plate, and to which we remain grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.”

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