Findings have revealed that local carriers operations will spend over N560 billion on aircraft maintenance in 2016.
This amount is expected to cover major aircraft checks in Europe, Asia, America, South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco.
The checks include “C and D” under which major components of aircraft are stripped and reworked.
According to investigations over 200 aircraft are on the regulatory register for scheduled, private / charter operators and training aircraft.
In 2013, the operators spent over $1.22 billion (N200 billion) when the exchange rate was N200 to $1 on maintenance because of lack of such facility at home.
Nigeria has over 200 aircraft (scheduled, charter and privately owned), which are taken abroad for major repairs. South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Ethiopia have workable Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facilities, and airports that operate as hubs.
The process of taking aircraft abroad for repairs, according to engineers, takes a minimum of two weeks with a corresponding loss of about $500,000 (N160 million) for C-Check on Boeing 737. A smaller aircraft, such as, Embraer 190 or 100 would cost $300,000 (N110 million) during the same period. Many of the airlines take their aircraft abroad for repairs at exorbitant costs.
A former spokesman for Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Mohammed Tukur, called for partnership between the government and private investors to establish a local maintenance facility.
According to him, it could save the airlines over 50 per cent of maintenance costs and make Nigeria a technical hub for aircraft maintenance. MRO costs encompass both the outgoing charges and the revenue loss during the out-of-service period.