By Lawani Mikairu
Federal Government yesterday took delivery of calibration aircraft for the country’s airspace. Taking the delivery on behalf of the government at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said “ the King Air 350ii turboprop aircraft cost $8.5million.
The agony of contracting it to South Africa or Niger at about $500,000 every six months is over. Our airspace is safer.”
The Minister expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari on the success of the procurement. “Thanks Mr. President, we started and finished during your regime,” he said. While speaking to journalists after the delivery, Sirika said Nigeria will be saving a lot from the procurement of the aircraft.
He explained that the government pays $500,000 every time calibration is being done on the country’s navigational aids. He also said the services of the aircraft would be commercialized and revenue generated from it.
Expressing the commercial viability of the aircraft, an official of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said the market is huge in Africa. “More so, that this is the first calibration aircraft owned by government of a West African country.”