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FAAN moves for safer flights, installs birds control equipment

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has installed birds control equipment at the airports in a move to improve safety of flights in the country.

The new facilities, according to a statement by the spokesperson for the authority, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, were inaugurated last week.

She gave a list of the equipment as three different models of bird scaring gas canons; day boxes for carrying pyrotechnics during operations for safety; 15,000 rounds of 12G (heavy-calibre bird scaring pyrotechnics); hi-tech bird laser; personal protective equipment for workers dealing with wildlife; purpose-built TYPE IV explosive storage magazine and brand new Hilux jeep for runway wildlife patrol.

The installation started with the Murtala Muhammed International Airport considered the busiest airport in the country, which recently experienced some bird strikes resorting in flight abortion.

FAAN said the equipment would usher in an era of safe flight operations, as incidents relating to birds strikes would be mitigated.

At an event held at FAAN’s headquarters annex in Lagos, the Managing Director of FAAN,  Captain Rabiu Yadudu, who was represented by the Director of Commercial and Business Development, Alhaji Sadiku Rafindadi, said that the facilities were some of the best around.

He said the authority procured them on the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

FAAN Director of Airport Operations, Captain Muktar Muye, expressed his delight at the arrival of the equipment.

He noted that what was being commissioned was not just the equipment but a complete package that also included the recommended storage facility, patrol vehicle and trained personnel in line with ICAO/Standards and Recommended Practices.

The highpoint of the event was a practical demonstration of the use of some of the equipment by the representative of the MD/CE and the Director of Airport Operations.

Also in attendance were the General Managers; Operations, Mrs Olajumoke Oni; Environment, Mr Nehemiah Auta; Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Muhammed; Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, Mr John Ekpe; Regional General Manager, South West, Mrs Victoria Shin-Aba; representative of the GM Corporate Affairs, Mrs Christabel Eromosele; Chief of Staff to MD/CE, Mr Lawal Abdullahi and others.

Aviation

NiMET predicts three-day heavy rains from today, flight disruption

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The Nigeria Meteorological Agency has alerted to flight disruption in coming days, predicting heavy rains in parts of the country, mostly in the North, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Newstrends reports that domestic flights going out of Lagos to other parts of the country on Friday were delayed for many hours as a result of persistent downpour.

NiMET, in its weather forecast numbered 202109023 released on Monday, said heavy rains would be experienced in parts of Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Niger states.

It also said moderate rainfall would be witnessed in parts of Yobe, Kwara, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Ekiti, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

According to NiMET, light rains are expected over the rest of the country.

It however said due to the presence of good amount of soil-moisture and the expected heavy rainfall, there are increased chances of flashflood events on roads, settlements, farmlands and bridges.

This is in addition to chances of reduced horizontal visibility which can disrupt vehicular traffic and flight operations.

“Hence, the public is advised to exercise restraint, avoid low-lying areas and fast flowing runoff waters,” the forecast said.

NiMET also predicted the possibility of moderate rainfall events leading to slippery roads, reducing travel time, with increased likelihood of cars skidding off the road and chances of crashes.

It stated, “Strong winds are expected to accompany the moderate to heavy rains which can lead to falling of unsecured objects, weak buildings and exposed structures.

“Hence, the public is advised to be prepared for these events to avoid damages from rain-related hazard and watch out for updates. Elsewhere (See places in Green), no hydrometeorological hazards are anticipated.”

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Nigeria’s $500m Tucano jets, largest purchase in sub-Saharan Africa – US

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Nigeria’s purchase of 12 new A-29 Super Tucano jets at a sum of $500 million is the largest single arms procurement in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States Department of Defense has said.

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, disclosed this on Tuesday at the A-29 Super Tucano induction ceremony, hosted by Nigerian Minister of Defense Bashir Salihi Magashi and the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja.

“The Nigerian Air Force is one of our key partners that play a critical role in furthering regional security and stability,” Harrigian was quoted as saying in a statement by the US Embassy in Abuja.

“This ceremony symbolizes the strength of our unique partnership and underscores the value of training and working together,” he said.

The Super Tucanos were the impetus for the significant deepening of training and professional relationships, he added.

The statement said, “Precision targeting, air-to-ground integration, and human rights training are all included in the partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria.

“The aircraft will assist the Nigerian Air Force in their fight against violent extremist organizations including the Islamic State West Africa Province.

“The joint structure of air-to-ground integration also supports Nigerian Army and Navy operations.

“Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the Foreign Military Sales programme, which follows the Department of Defense’s “Total Package Approach” model and includes spare parts for several years of operation, contract logistics support, munitions, and a multi-year construction project to improve Kainji Air Base infrastructure.

“The total sale is valued at almost $500 million, making it the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Harrigian said the A-29 is a prime tool to help Nigeria combat violent extremism and is vital to sustained deterrence.

“The total package deal—aircrew and maintainer training, precision-guided weapon delivery, and more—highlights our enduring partnership with the Nigerian Air Force and our commitment to enabling their successes where we can.”

A total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to U.S. standards with the U.S. Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, USA.

 

The training also emphasized the Law of Armed Conflict and civilian casualty mitigation, which are fundamental principles of the Nigerian military’s professional education and training.

 

As part of the programme, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $36.1M in infrastructure support to the A-29s’ home base, Kainji Air Base, including covered magazines and aircraft sunshades, a new airfield hot cargo pad, perimeter and security fencing, airfield lights, and various airfield apron, parking, hangar, and entry control point enhancements.

 

The infrastructure package also includes a flight annex wing building for simulator training as well as munitions assembly and storage and small arms storage.

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Nigeria to partner Hungarian firm on aircraft assembly plant

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The Federal Government is set to partner Magnus aircraft manufacturing firm in Hungary to establish an assembling plant and manufacture of light airplanes in Nigeria.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this while on an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Industry in Pogany, Hungary.

He said the partnership would be to assemble airplanes locally, from start to finish, and before the end of the Buhari administration.

“If we venture with them, we may start with assembling plants and later manufacturing,” Sirika said.

According to the minister, the Magnus aircraft has an airplane that is good for military training, has an aerobatic manoeuvre and is made of fully composite materials high strength and very lightweight.

He explained that aerobatics is the practice of flying manoeuvres involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flights, adding that aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment and sports.

Sirika further expressed satisfaction with the features and more than willing to facilitate the production of the airplanes in Nigeria, saying one of the significant features of the Magnus aircraft is the use of normal car petrol.

The minister who was at the facility on the invitation of the company said the proposed partnership with the aircraft manufacturer would be subjected to further analysis to verify the market and government willingness to partner with a significant amount of money and logistics.

He said the local production of aircraft in the country would facilitate the growth of Nigeria as a regional aviation superpower as it would also come with maintenance and repair facilities to attract patronage from neighbouring countries.

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