NCAA lifts ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced the lifting of ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the country’s airspace.

The ban followed two accidents that involved the aircraft model.

NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, who announced this at the weekend, said the aircraft model had been granted approval to operate in Nigeria’s airspace as from February 12.

The director general said intending domestic operators interested in flying the aircraft model should work with the Boeing Company and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme.

He said this would have the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued with a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness.

The NCAA boss said foreign air operators that intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Nigeria must submit evidence of compliance with the FAA AD 2020-24-02 even as the regulator said it will continue to ensure strict compliance to Safety Regulations.

Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika announced the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Nigeria’s airspace following two accidents involving the aircraft type in the fleet of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, which crashed a few minutes after take-off.

He said the NCAA, on November 18, 2020, received a Continued Airworthiness Notification from the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24, advising it about the United States Federal Aviation Administrations (FAAs) continued operational safety activities on returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

Musa said: “NCAA recognises that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) that comprised International Aviation Authorities, including 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 Standardisation Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 MAX and Safety Alert for Operators.

“NCAA recognises the joint review of the Boeing 737 Max Safety System and came up with the following actions required of all foreign and domestic operators.”

Some Nigerian operators – Air Peace, Arik Air and Green Africa Airways – had indicated interest in flying the aircraft type.

Though Air Peace placed order for 10 of the aircraft type and it is yet to announce cancellation of the order.

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