Nigeria's oldest airline, Aero Contractors has made history by conducting the first C-check on a Boeing B373. This follows the certification of the airline by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which issued Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) certificate to the company, qualifying it to carry out aircraft maintenance up to C-check level on Boeing Classics: B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500.
Aero recently extended its maintenance hangar so that it could effectively take in a Boeing 737 aircraft and it is partnering with A J Walters of United Kingdom for tooling and spares, the South Africa Airways Technical and other international maintenance organisations to ensure that its aircraft maintenance facility is in line with global standards.
For years the airline has been conducting maintenance on helicopters and Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft up to D and C check respectively. The airline also hopes to secure European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification before the middle of next year.
Speaking on the development, Chief Executive Officer of Aero, Capt Ado Sanusi said: "Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given the certification for Aero to conduct C-checks on Boeing B737 Classics. I have always said that Aero Contractors Maintenance Organisation has been in existence for about 58 years and it has been conducting checks and it has been improving. Over the years it has done remarkably well in maintaining small body aircraft like Bombardier Dash-8, Hawkers and other private jets. But there has always been a limiting factor for Aero Contractors to perform C-checks on bigger airplanes. So we now had a comprehensive look at what is needed so that we could achieve the great feat of carrying out C-check maintenance on Boeing B737 classics. Finally, we got all our people and every other thing ready and send them to NCAA to look at everything for approval. What we needed was to meet the specification for conducting C-check on bigger aircraft, the Boeing B737 classic, which include B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500."
Sanusi said that the airline has started getting offers to conduct C-check on third party aircraft (aircraft of other airlines) but the company starting the C-check with its own aircraft and would maintain two of its own before conducting the C-check on another, which was already in waiting.
"Other airlines have indicated interest to bring their aircraft for C-check. This is a great accomplishment because C-check on Boeing B737 is very, very important because B737 is one of the most popular airplanes in Nigeria and actually in Africa. So we are very confident that this achievement will go a long way, and it is a game changer in aviation industry in Nigeria. It is an achievement that we look at as a big improvement in the aviation sector. So the benefit is not only to Aero but the entire aviation sector," Sanusi said.