Allen Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace, has lamented that the airline suffered 26 bird strike incidents between February and June, 2023.
Onyema said the airline experiences an average of five bird strikes every month and loses aircraft engines to most of the incidents.
Speaking on Tuesday during a webinar on ‘Repositioning the Aviation Sector for Revenue Generation and Growth: The Role of The Legislation,’ organised by Messrs Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL), he explained that in a situation where an engine is damaged beyond repair during a bird strike incident, the engine could cost about $2 million to $3 million, depending on the aircraft type.
“Air Peace had 26 bird strikes between February and June this year. In fact, on the average, we suffer about five bird strikes every month. There was a day we had two bird strikes. It is not the duty of the airlines to chase birds at the airports.
“If an engine is damaged in the process by the bird, that engine depending on the type of aircraft, repair of the aircraft can cause you between $2 million to $3 million. If it happened to a Boeing 777 aircraft for instance and damaged its engine, it could cost you about $10 million.
“However, bird strike may not damage the engine in total; it might damage some things that you need to change in the engine, but in all, the most important thing to take away from bird strike is the fact that it grounds your operations immediately because you are not certain if that aircraft is not affected,” he explained.
According to him, airlines need engine expert to look at the engine and by doing that, the aircraft is grounded and flight schedules are disrupted.
Onyema said such bird strike incidents disrupt the operations of the airline, stressing that it was not the duty of airlines to chase birds at the airports.
Also speaking at the event, the Federal Government called on Nigerian private investors to partner with the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development in order to grow the sector in the country.
Delivering a Goodwill Message on Tuesday at a Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said that the Federal Government was willing to partner investors to develop the sector.
Keyamo emphasised that for the sector to actualise its agenda, the government wanted investors to leverage on the immense opportunities in the sector to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Joint-Venture Partnerships (JVPs) with heads of international economic organisations, presidents of transnational corporations and principals of leading privately-owned enterprises.
Quoting the data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Keyamo said that the aviation sector contributed about N117 billion, which is 4 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2022, while it also supported about 200,000 jobs and pays about N8.5 billion Niara in tax annually.
Keyamo stressed that the government was committed to upscaling the achievement by leveraging the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.