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NCAA lifts ban on B737 Max plane operations in local airspace

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cleared the embattled Boeing 737 Max planes to operate in Nigerian airspace.

By this approval, foreign airlines could now fly the aircraft in the country’s airspace, while local carrier, Air Peace, could also take delivery of its 737 Max orders from Boeing.

In a memorandum to operators dated February 12, 2021, the NCAA stated that the Boeing series was approved following the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent approvals and reentry conditions.

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The B737 Max had been grounded globally for almost two years following two fatal accidents of the series occurring in similar circumstances.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had also banned the Boeing 737 Max aircraft from operating in the Nigerian airspace.

The FAA gave its approval to the 737 Max airliners to resume passenger flights, while the Department of Justice charged Boeing of conspiracy to defraud the United States and would have to pay a $2.5b fine for lying to the FAA before and after the fatal 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019.

NCAA noted that on November 18, 2020, it received a Continued Airworthiness Notification from the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24 advising it of the FAA’s continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 Max) aircraft service.

This, however, made the FAA to issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the actions for Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which include installation of new flight control computer software and new 737 Max display system software, incorporation of certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures, Modify horizontal stabiliser trim wire routing installations, conduct angle of attack sensor system test and operation readiness flight.

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Director General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu, said it recognised that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) comprising International Aviation Authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC) and Singapore Civil Aviation Authority, among others, carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 Max safety system with the 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 permitted the required actions for all foreign and domestic operators.

“All intending domestic operators are to work with Boeing and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme to have the Boeing 737 Max aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness,” he stated.

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In this article:
Hadi SirikaMusa NuhuNCAA
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