- Funding delayed acquisition of all 20 aircraft
- To commences training on drone operations, usage
NIGERIAN College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria has said come mid-February 2020, the college will take delivery of six (6) Diamond (DA-40) training aircraft part of the 20 aircraft ordered for years back to boost its training fleet
This is just as the college has said it currently has 10 serviceable aircraft in its training fleet
Rector of NCAT, Captain Abdulsalami Mohammed made these known today as a guest of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC’s) Gateway Forum stating that the college could not take delivery of the 20 aircraft five (5) DA-42 that is the two engine aircraft and fifteen (15) DA-40 for funding reasons.
According to Captain Mohammed, the aircraft manufacturer had to sell off the college’s ordered aircraft because of its failure to meet up with the payment and stated that the aircraft will only be ordered in batches, when the college is sure of the funds to purchase it.
Captain Mohammed said,” The Diamond aircraft as you correctly mentioned, the contract was for the supply of 20 that was five (5) DA-42 that is the two engine aircraft and fifteen (15) DA-40 which are the single engine aircraft. Now, because of budgetary constraints we cannot order all of these aircraft at once so we order the aircraft in batches.
“When I assumed duty in 2017, the college took delivery of only one DA-42 aircraft this was because, when the initial order was placed, the aircraft was manufactured but due to the failure of the college then to make payment, the manufacturers decided to discard of the aircraft because they couldn’t keep them anymore.
“So this time around we said we are not placing any order until we are sure of the funds so last year I placed order for 6 of the DA-40s and we have made all the [payment required to guarantee delivery of the aircraft. We are going to perform a factory acceptance check on these aircraft in the third week of January and thereafter in two weeks after, sometime early to mid-February, the six aircraft will be delivered to Zaria, this will greatly enhance our training capacity. With the delivery of those aircraft I intend to place order for another batch of aircraft, so we will be ordering them in batches until we take delivery of all 20 aircraft.”
On the number of serviceable aircraft NCAT currently operates, the Rector explained:
“As of Monday, we had 10 aircraft serviceable. The daily serviceability status fluctuate as the aircraft are utilized on a daily basis they go in for maintenance, they have 50 hour checks and 100 hours checks. So when the hours are exhausted the aircraft are pulled into the hangar and maintenance carried out before they are put back. But as it is we have 10 aircraft that are fully serviceable, this is a big improvement on what we used to have.”
The NCAT boss also said the college personnel had been trained on, and college has acquired drones for the commencement of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) training noting that the college was still waiting for the necessary Regulatory framework before embarking on the training.
“There are security considerations in RPAS, so many countries have a challenge with them, the United Kingdom and Dubai Airports were shut down because of drone operation so our training for now will focus on knowledge of operation of drones, it will envelop types of drones because they come in all shapes and sizes so people will know the drones that can be used, he said.