The country’s dream to launch Made-in-Nigeria helicopter before the end of this year is gradually coming to fulfillment as the project has entered an assessment stage by the aviation authorities.
This is as the officers from the Ministry of Aviation and its agencies visited NASENI Solar Energy Limited where the NASENI Helicopter Hanger and Helipad are housed in Abuja for on-site assessment and evaluation of NASENI Helicopter.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of NASENI Engr. Mohammad Sani Haruna, who was represented by the Managing Director NASENI Solar Energy Limited, Engr. Dr. Mahmoud Jaffaru, said the agency was ready to accept any suggestions and support from the aviation ministry that would lead to the successful completion of the project within the time frame given to the agency by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that it was the desire of the agency to manufacture made-in-Nigeria Helicopter that is of international standards and help in boosting the nation’s economy.
According to him, NASENI has massive land mass that would accommodate all the operational activities.
“We have expertise for developing the helicopter and we do things according to laid-down rules. We are ready to work with you to achieve this project,” he said.
In his presentation, the Deputy Director Engineering Infrastructure, Engr. Emmanuel Ajani, said NASENI entered into collaboration with Dynali Helicopter Company, Thins Belgium, to develop made in Nigeria Helicopter and has trained its engineers for the take-off of the project in Nigeria.
According to him, the President approved the project on January 26, 2021 and directed NASENI to complete the production of made-in-Nigeria Helicopter before the end of his tenure.
He said: “NASENI Engineers and technicians have been trained on helicopter assembly, maintenance and repair at Dynali. More engineers will be sent for training including pilots. We are also taking the issue of licencing serious. We are aware that the permit for non-commercial flight must be done before we continue with the process of manufacturing. Our plan is to get the permit before we start. That is why you are here today for the assessment and evaluation of the hanger and Helipad which have arrived and we pray for your timely consideration and approval of the process.”
Responding, the team leader from the Aviation ministry and its agencies, Captain Akali, represented by the General Manager Aeronautical Services, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Asaniyan Taiwo, said the team was in NASENI for assessment, inspection and to pick all the information needed and go back to the ministry for submission.
While applauding NASENI for the laudable project, he said its completion will promote the image of the country and improve the economy.
“The ministry is happy with the project but safety is paramount. We will not compromise the safety of the people.”
He however noted that NASENI was on course, as the helicopter if completed will help in fighting crimes.