NCAA lifts ban on Boeing 737 Max from Nigeria’s Airspace

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria, has approved the lifting of the ban it had earlier placed on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft in the Nigerian Airspace with effect from February 12, 2021.

 

Consequent upon the two accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX (Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 301), Senator Hadi Sirika, the Honorable Minister of Aviation on Wednesday, the 13th of March, 2019 pronounced the ban on the operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Nigeria’s airspace.

 

The lifting of the embargo follows a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system by International Aviation Authorities, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

 

A press statement issued by the NCAA and signed by its Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Musa Nuhu, partly reads:

“On the 18th November 2020, the Authority received a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24 advising it of the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) ongoing continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

 

“This, however, made the FAA issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the following actions for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which includes:

 

  • Install new flight control computer software and new 737 MAX display system software;

 

  • Incorporate certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures, Modify horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations;

 

  • Conduct an angle of attack sensor system test; and

 

  • Conduct an operation readiness flight.

 

“NCAA recognizes that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) that comprised of International Aviation Authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC) and the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority amongst others carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system alongside FAA and NASA.

 

“In the light of the above, the FAA has released documents on Boeing 737 Flight Standardization Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 MAX and Safety Alert for Operators.’

 

The statement also says the NCAA came up with some actions required of all foreign and domestic operators as a result of its recognition of the joint review of the Boeing 737 Max Safety System.

 

Some of the actions include:

  • All intending domestic operators are required to work with the Boeing Company and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme in order to have the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued with a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness.

 

  • All foreign air operators that intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into Nigeria must submit evidence of compliance with the FAA AD 2020-24-02

 

The NCAA stated that it would continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations as violation(s) would be viewed seriously.

 

It can be recalled that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had about 2 years ago announced the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the Nigerian airspace, following two accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft.

 

The accidents involved Lion Air Flight 610, an Indonesia flight that crashed into the Java Sea, 13 minutes after takeoff, and Ethiopian Airlines flight 320, which crashed 6 minutes after takeoff.

 

 

Amaka E. Nliam

 

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