Nigeria’s dream of launching a made-in-Nigeria helicopter by the end of the year is gradually becoming a reality as the project is being evaluated by the aviation authorities.
This was after Ministry of Aviation officials visited NASENI Solar Energy Limited in Abuja to assess and evaluate the NASENI Helicopter Hanger and Helipad.
During his opening remarks, NASENI’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Engineer, Mr. Mohammad Sani Haruna, who was represented by the Managing Director of NASENI Solar Energy Limited, Engr. Dr Mahmoud Jaffaru said the agency was open to receiving any suggestions or support from the aviation ministry that would lead to the successful completion of the project within the time frame set by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the agency is seeking to manufacture a helicopter made in Nigeria that is of international standards and will boost the economy of the nation.
NASENI, he believes, has a substantial land mass that would accommodate all operations.
“We have expertise in developing helicopters, and we follow rules laid down in legislation. “We will work with you to complete this project,” he said.
The Deputy Director of Engineering Infrastructure, Engr. Emmanuel Ajani said NASENI had entered into a collaboration with Dynali Helicopter, Thins Belgium, to develop a made-in-Nigeria helicopter and trained the company’s engineers for the take-off.
According to him, on January 26, 2021, the President approved the project and directed NASENI to complete production of the helicopters before the end of his presidency.
“NASENI engineers and technicians have been trained in helicopter assembly, maintenance, and repair at Dynali. Engineers, including pilots, will be sent for training. Also, we take licensure seriously. The permit for non-commercial flights must be obtained before we can continue manufacturing. We plan to get the permit before we begin. This is why you are here today, to assess and evaluate the hanger and Helipad that have arrived, and we pray that you will give us your timely approval and consideration.”
In response, Captain Akali, representative of Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) general manager aeronautical services, Asaniyan Taiwo, said that the team was in NASENI for assessment, inspection and to acquire the information needed to send back to the ministry.
As he applauded NASENI for the wonderful project, he also noted it will enhance the image of the country and the economy.
The ministry is pleased with the project, but safety is paramount. The safety of the people will not be compromised.”
Although NASENI was on course, he said if it is completed it will assist in fighting crimes.