THE Federal Government on Wednesday banned the operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 by any airline operator in Nigeria airspace. This decision was taken during this week Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The decision came against rising global concern on the safety of the aircraft model, following recent air crashes involving this new model from the biggest aircraft manufacturer in the world. The latest involving the model was last Sunday crash of an Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, which went down shortly after take-off killing all 154 people on board, including 3 Nigerians.
Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, at the end of the FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the Boeing model would not be allowed into Nigeria airspace until doubts about its safety are cleared.
“Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, that has been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane.
“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, whose mandate it is to issue advisory, has already issued advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Boeing.
“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out.
“So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out,” he said.