Nigeria imposes new 15 year age limit on aircraft

Victoria
By Victoria August 3, 2012 21:20

Nigeria imposes new 15 year age limit on aircraft

The Federal Government of Nigeria has imposed a 15 year age limit for aircraft operating in Nigeria, previously the age limit was 22 years. The decision comes in the wake of the fatal Dana Air crash. Operators will now be required to pay significantly higher lease rates for aircraft. At the moment the minimum rate for 15-year old aircraft is around $220,000 per month, compared to $120,000 for 18 year old planes.
The policy, which has been described as unrealistic by many in the country, could lead to the banning of 38 aircraft or 60% of scheduled commercial airlines’ planes. Four airlines would have their entire fleet grounded under the new rules.
Many have argued that the age of an aircraft does not affect its safety level, it is the adherence to maintenance schedules that does. In fact, some opponents of the new policy have indicated that a new aircraft that was not regularly maintained was probably far more dangerous than an old aircraft where its operator adhered strictly to the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) in the petition by Secretary General, Capt. Mohammed Joji, reportedly said that there was no co-relation between the age of aircraft and safety, noting that human caused much of air accidents rather than machine errors.
“There is no correlation between safety and the age of an aircraft. The decisions to retire aircraft are basically economic. Ageing aircraft require more frequent maintenance than new aircraft and this is undertaken outside Nigeria on annual basis in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARS), under the supervision of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),” it stated.
They agreed that ICAO, which is the global minimum safety standards all operators must adhere to, never put age limit on aircraft, but insisted rather on regular maintenance of aircraft.
According to them: “A well-maintained old aircraft is better than a poorly maintained new aircraft. New aircraft are often purchased to add capacity to the existing fleet not to immediately replace existing fleet.
“Imposing a 22-year ban on aircraft is not consistence with ICAO standards and recommended practices. It is one of the draconian policy decisions taken without recourse to the actual industry practice.

Victoria
By Victoria August 3, 2012 21:20
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