Nigeria to receive Tucano fighter jets in Q2 2021 – Newstrends
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Nigeria to receive Tucano fighter jets in Q2 2021

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Nigeria will take delivery of the Tucano fighter jets it ordered in 2029 from the United States in the second quarter of 2021, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said.

Abubakar stated this on Friday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force, to defend the 2021 budget proposal of the Air Force.

He said the Air Force would also acquire eight unmanned aerial vehicles from China and three JF17 thunder fighter aircraft from Pakistan next year.

Abubakar told the lawmakers that the Air Force had acquired 22 aircraft in recent times and was expecting 17 more, in addition to the three special mission aircraft it was expecting under the Deep Blue project of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

He appealed for an increase in the amount proposed for the overhead cost, noting that the N8.8bn proposed for this in the 2021 fiscal year was grossly inadequate.

He said, “The overhead cost of the service has remained constant at N8.8bn despite the increase in the number of personnel and formations.

“We have acquired additional infrastructure but in spite of that, not much has changed in terms of the overhead. We have increased by about 11 units. These are located in Agatu in Benue State, Gembi in Taraba State, Damaturu in Yobe State, Ikirun in Osun State, we are expanding the unit in Ipetu Ijesa. We have also established an FOB in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.

”The running cost of these units is something that is weighing heavily on the Air Force. That is why we are appealing for increase in the overhead cost. In terms of personnel, the Air Force has grown to over 11,000 personnel and right now, we are recruiting an additional 1,000. So, it is huge in terms of the infrastructure.

“For the platforms we have created, we have acquired 22 aircraft and we are expecting 17 more. In addition, we are expecting to get three special mission aircraft under the deep blue project of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

”I have intimated you of the eight UAVs we are expecting from China. With this number of platforms, the number of personnel have increased and the expansion of the units, definitely the current overhead will be inadequate. The 2021 budget proposal is tailored towards acquiring more platforms and maintaining existing platforms.

“NAF intends to intensify its procurement of spare parts, as well as arms and ammunition. Emphasis will also be placed on ongoing infrastructural development in newly established bases such as Gombe and existing NAF buildings to cater for the welfare of personnel and their families.”

Abubakar gave a breakdown of the proposed capital expenditure as “three JF17 thunder fighter aircraft that the Air Force is acquiring from Pakistan and we are proposing about N17.3bn for this, while the procurement of targeting bolts for the JF17 thunder aircraft will gulp N3.7bn.

“We have up to N2.5bn for barrack upgrade because the Super Tocano aircraft is coming to Kainji and the runway there is not in shape. We don’t want to go for contract because the cost of doing that runway will be too much.”

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Just in: Air Peace crashes London flight fare to N1.2m

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Air Peace crashes London flight fare to N1.2m

Travellers on Air Peace London flight will pay N1.2 million and N4 million respectively for Economy and Business classes, with effect from March 30.

The airline announced this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos by its Corporate Communications Lead, Mr Stanley Olisa.

Flight tickets for London in Nigeria are between N2.3 million and N4.2 million for economy and N6 million for business class.

Olisa said the flight schedules for Air Peace London route available on the airline’s website showed that it had crashed the price of its flight tickets.

“A return economy class ticket goes for N1.2 million, while a return business class ticket sells for N4 million.

“Nigerians studying in the United Kingdom can also now access their special 15 per cent rebate on the already reduced economy fares.”

The airline had announced a special fare for Nigerian students in the UK when it hosted travel agents in Lagos in preparation for the launch of the London route.

Olisa also said London would be the airline’s seventh international destination since kicking off operations about 10 years ago.

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Unbelievable: Court had declared Wigwe’s chopper model unsafe for flights, after many crashes – Investigation

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Unbelievable: Court had declared Wigwe’s chopper model unsafe for flights, after many crashes – Investigation

 

A new investigation has revealed that Eurocopter EC 130B4, the aircraft model that Friday crashed and claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, Access Holdings CEO, his wife, son and three others, recorded five crashes last year alone.

A report of an investigation released on Monday by FIJ stated that a Nevada judge concurred with the position of relations of a crash victim that the aircraft model was unsafe for air travel as it did not have a crash-resistant fuel system, which was why it regularly burst into flames upon crashing.

It also reported that a similar crash occurred on December 1, 2023, involving the same Eurocopter EC 130B4, which struck power cables during takeoff and crashed into a ball of flames near Ex Hacienda el Hospital, Cuautla, Morelos in Mexico.

Three people died in the accident.

It was the last of 11 crashes involving Airbus models in 2023.

A total of 100 crashes involving the aircraft and previous models manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS have been recorded since 1975, according to the investigation.

Wigwe died in the helicopter crash near Interstate 15 in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, and questions were raised over the circumstances surrounding the crash.

The same aircraft model crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018 and claimed the lives of five people.

Scott Booth, who piloted that flight and managed to survive, told investigators that the aircraft encountered a violent gust of wind before spinning uncontrollably and crashing into flames.

Parents of Jonathan Udall, one of the passengers on the flight, who was on a honeymoon with Eleanor, his wife, had filed a lawsuit against Papillon Airways Inc, the company that owned the aircraft, and the manufacturer.

These plaintiffs argued before the Nevada judge that the aircraft was unsafe for air travel.

In January, the court ordered that Papillon should pay them $24.6 million and Airbus pay $75 million for the loss of their son.

Speaking to the Associated Press after the ruling, Gary Robb, the family’s lawyer, said, “They don’t want anyone else to go through what their son went through in an otherwise survivable accident — not a broken bone. He would have walked away.”

His statement was a nod to the fact that Jonathan did not die as a result of the direct impact of the crash but suffered burns in the explosion, which caused his death days later.

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FAAN confirms blackout at Lagos airport, gives reason

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FAAN confirms blackout at Lagos airport, gives reason

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed the blackout Friday night at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos but says efforts are being made to restore power supply.

The blackout said to have occurred Friday night as shown in a viral video led to passengers using their mobile phone flashlights to find their way within the airport.

FAAN reacted in a post on its official X handle confirming the incident on Saturday evening.

FAAN explained that the incident happened during the process of switching power sources after losing electricity from the national grid.

The agency said it was working hard to restore the supply, adding that alternative sources were being used.

“We experienced a 2-3 minute outage at Murtala Muhammed International Airport yesterday, February 2nd 2024, while switching over to our backup power supply after losing power from the Grid,” FAAN said.

“The electrical team has identified the challenges with the automatic switch over and is working judiciously to restore this immediately.

“We have put a plan in place leveraging the alternative sources of power to ensure we do not have a recurrence.”

Olubunmi Kuku, managing director of FAAN, expressed regret over the blackout.

“We regret the power outage that occured at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on February 2, 2024,” she said.

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