The Federal Government has approved the acquisition of 20 aircrafts for the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria to improve training and development of young pilots.
Daily Trust reports that the DA 40 aircraft used by flying schools worldwide costs $420,000 per unit.
The Rector/CEO of the college, Capt. Muhammad Abdulsalam disclosed this in a chat with aviation correspondents in Zaria but explained that the aircraft would be ordered in phases.
He also said the college has virtually concluded the installation of its Boeing 737 simulator to be located in Zaria.
He said currently, “The approval we have from the government is to acquire 20 Diamond aircraft; five of which are the two-engine DA42 and 15 Assembly engine DA 40 aircraft. When I assumed office in 2017, we took delivery of one DA 42 aircraft in April 2017”.
However, he disclosed that an order was placed for more aircraft but the supply was stalled because the Diamond manufacturer was bought by another company which relocated the production line from Austria to Canada.
“That is what affected the delivery of the additional aircraft because we asked for additional four DA 40 aircraft, which is what we have on order now. That company is up and running in Canada now and we expect to take delivery of those four DA 40 aircraft before the end of this year.
“We also have additional DA 40 aircraft that was given to the college by an insurance company as part of an insurance settlement. So, by the time we have the four aircraft delivered, we will have one DA 42 and five DA 40.
“As of today, we have eight aircraft that are serviceable. These aircraft are not the same, we have the basic, advance and two-engine ones”.
On the simulator, he said apart from the B737, another simulator is being installed for firemen and it would serve fire-fighters across the country and save the nation huge foreign exchange.
He added, “The simulator has been constructed, but it is there waiting for shipment; it is too big to enter a container. So, when they bring it in the container, they won’t be able to cover it.
“So, if they bring it in and the building is not ready, it would be exposed to the elements and that is why the manufacturer advised us not to expose it until the building is ready.
“This simulator is very sensitive to temperature and humidity and all the parts were made by Boeing. We believe that the stimulator would be installed this year.
“In addition, we also have another simulator that is being installed in Zaria for this year. The simulator is for firemen. It is automatic fire simulator.
“As you may be aware, we have never had fire simulator in Nigeria in spite of the number of firemen that we have in this country, all these years, we have been sending our firemen to Cameroon for training.”