Monday, May 13, 2013

■ NIGERIA: ECOWAS considering setting up an MRO facility in West Africa.

Economic Community of West African StatesThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is carrying out feasibility studies for the possible construction of an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility to serve the region, the organization's Regional Director in charge of Air Transport, Dr. Paul Antoine Marie Ganemtore, has said.

Speaking in Lagos following a tour of Arik Air's (W3) facilities at Muhammed Murtala International Airport, Dr Ganemtore said an MRO hangar had now become critical to the region as the cost of sending aircraft abroad to Europe, the US et al, had become prohibitively expensive.

Once plans have been finalized, Ganemtore said the MRO facility would be provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which has mobilised some experts to review previous studies carried out on how to build the facility.

He added that the ECOWAS Commission would continue to canvass the creation of a conducive environment through harmonised regulation and policy to fast track the growth of air transport in Africa.
Aircraft MROThe role of ECOWAS Commission will simply be to create a conducive environment through policy and harmonised regulations for the growth of air transport and regional integration in Africa. Our goal is to turn the entire African airspace into a single market through air traffic rights and other measures that will give airlines the edge to enhance their capacities and compete favourably through the removal of restrictive bottlenecks,” he also said.

There is need for airlines in Africa to cooperate in areas of training and capacity building. The main target of the commission is to fast track the integration of the region. We could cooperate with all airlines in Africa to be competitive and profitable. This is key because of the challenge of intra connectivity in Africa.

He further said, “Last year, the commission carried out a feasibility study funded by African Development Bank and World Bank to set up a maintenance facility in Africa. We are working very hard on this to see the project through”.
Source [ThisDay

He also disclosed that the regional body is also working on how carriers in the region could come together to set up stronger airlines that could bridge the gap in intra-African connections, which became difficult after the demise of Air Afrique and some national carriers, including Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL).