The move by Nigeria to get the expertise of Boeing Corporation of the United States to assist its aviation development may be yielding fruits as the giant aircraft manufacturer has accepted to conduct an airworthiness assessment on all its registered aircraft in Nigerian airlines’ fleet.
Joe Obi, special adviser to aviation minister on media, said on Thursday in a statement that the corporation has “indeed submitted a proposal to the ministry to conduct an ‘airworthiness assessment’ of all its Nigerian registered aircraft in the fleet of domestic airlines in the country. These discussions started since June/July 2012 after the Dana crash and Boeing’s proposal in this regard is currently receiving attention from the ministry of aviation. Correspondences between Ken Sain, managing director of Boeing Professional Services (BPS), Chamson Andjorin, director for Africa and Middle East (aviation safety) and the Federal Ministry of Aviation bear testimony to this.
“The point has to be emphasised, however, that what the Honourable Minister requested, and which Boeing has acceded to doing whenever their proposal is approved is an ‘airworthiness assessment’ of all the Nigerian registered aircraft manufactured by Boeing, and not ‘re-certification’”.
He said with regards to the Dana crash, Boeing, being a subject of investigation, excused itself from the airworthiness assessment to avoid any conflict of interest charge.
He said Boeing, however, recommended a third party, ALM, to conduct an airworthiness assessment of the MD83s in Dana’s fleet. The assessment by ALM has been conducted and reports submitted to the relevant authorities.
“But following the battery issues with one of Dana’s aircraft recently, the Honourable Minister still requested Boeing to provide some details on the state of the Dana fleet. Again, Boeing reiterated that since they are a party to the investigation of the crash, they do not want to appear compromised. But the aircraft manufacturer did volunteer to provide a ‘technical opinion’ on the report by ALM”.