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NPA receives, coupled biggest Caverton Helicopter at port in Lagos

The Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA) has received the biggest helicopter in the country, which was coupled inside the PTML Terminal at the Tin- Can Island Port of Lagos in line with the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business at the port.

The helicopter, a Sikosky S-92 was acquired by Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited and shipped from the United States to America.

The cargo arrived on board a vessel; Grande Morocco on the 19th of December into PTML Terminals Lagos.

Speaking with news shortly before the take-off of the helicopter to Ikeja airport, Sani Muhammed Amodu, Chief Engineer for Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited, said the helicopter was the biggest in the country, and because of the size, the company decided not to risk the logistics of transporting it by road.

According to him, after getting the necessary approvals, all the imported components were brought together and assembled right inside the port.

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“The helicopter was shipped from the United States to Lagos, but unfortunately because of the size, we could not take it out of the port to our facility because of the safety aspect of it, so what we did was that, instead of taking it out and going through the risk of the road, we decided to couple it here, following all the safety precautions as recommended by both the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as well as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). We are very pleased and happy with the support given to us by the terminal operator and the NPA on this feat,” he said.

Amodu, who disclosed that this was the first time the company is doing this through the port, said the company could have airfreighted it, but because of the size, they decided to bring it in through the port to get the very best of service, of which NPA offers.

Describing the features of the aircraft, Amodu said the Sikosky S- 92, has 19 seats, 2 crew seats as well as an observer seat. He said the aircraft is one of the very best in the category of aircraft for oil and gas businesses.

“The Sikosky S- 92 was acquired by Caverton Helicopters being the first indigenous company in Africa to get it. Normally, all the multinational companies that have operated the machine in Africa were brought in for the sole business of making it work and taking it back, but Caverton has bought it and is going to keep it on and on to increase capability and support for oil and gas,” he said.

Also speaking, Yunusa Ibrahim, NPA Port Manager, Tin- Can Island Port Complex, described this as a great feat for the NPA.

Ibrahim said that this was the first time this would be taking place within the terminal. “Never before was a helicopter component brought to the port, assembled within the port and take off from the port, it is a very big significance for the NPA.”

He said it shows that the aim of Ease of Doing Business is being achieved in line with the focus of the management.

The NPA Port Manager noted that it would have cost Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited more money to move the helicopter by road, but that the port has provided enabling environment for them to assemble it.

In terms of safety, he said the NPA also monitored the assembly process which lasted four days.

On his part, Babatunde Keshinro, general manager PTML Terminal, described this as a major achievement for Nigerian ports system.

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