NCAA Lifts Ban On B737MAX Operations In Nigeria’s Airspace

More countries are giving approval to one of Boeing’s best selling aircraft, B737 MAX as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced the lifting of ban on Boeing 737 Max aircraft and has been certified to operate in Nigeria’s airspace.

The airplane type was grounded and prevented from operating in the nation’s airspace following the two accident involving the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

This approval is effective 12th February, 2021.

Consequent upon the two accidents of Lion Air Flight 610, an Indonesia flight which crashed into the Java Sea 13mins after takeoff, and Ethiopian Airlines flight 320,which crashed six minutes after take-off, made the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika to pronounce the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the Nigerian airspace.

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On November 18, 2020, the NCAA received a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24 advising it of the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ongoing continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

This however, made the FAA issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the following actions for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which includes;

  • Install new flight control computer software and new 737 MAX display system software;
  • Incorporate certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures, Modify horizontal stabiliser trim wire routing installations;
  • Conduct an angle of attack sensor system test; and
  • Conduct an operation readiness flight.
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B737 MAX

NCAA recognize that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) that comprised of International Aviation Authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC) and the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority amongst others carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 MAX safety system alongside FAA and NASA.

Consequently, the FAA released documents on Boeing 737 Flight Standardization Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 MAX and Safety Alert for Operators.

Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu in a statement lifting the ban on B737MAX, he said the aviation regulatory body recognises the joint review of the Boeing 737 Max Safety System and came up with the following actions required of all foreign and domestic operators:

  • All intending domestic operators are required to work with the Boeing Company and NCAA for the Aircraft Type Certificate Acceptance Programme in order to have the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft registered in Nigeria and issued with a Standard Certificate of Airworthiness.
  • All foreign air operators that intend to operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into Nigeria must submit evidence of compliance with the FAA AD 2020-24-02
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He disclosed that the NCAA would continue to ensure strict compliance to safety regulations as violations would be viewed seriously.

Wole Shadare