Nigeria acquires N5 billion fire-fighting equipment for airports

Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Zirika (5th from left) with Nigerian officials and management of the equipment manufacturers

Nigeria is set to take delivery of an automatic aircraft fire-fighting simulator worth about N5 billion. The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Zirika on April 9, 2019 inspected the equipment and the company of the facility, Messrs Alpine Metal Technology Company, in London, United Kingdom.

The manufacturers carried out the factory acceptance and pre-shipment inspection test of the simulator in the presence of the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika. The pre-shipment test showcased the full complements of about 28 possible fire/non fire scenarios carried out including; cabin fire simulation, cabin smoke, lavatory smoke and the likes.

Other simulation tests include Turbo prop engine, undercarriage, fuselage side as well as corresponding components of single aisle multiple engine jet aircraft, fuel spill burn pit, internal fires among the vast arrays of simulations it can do.

The simulator, the first of its kind in Africa, is a modern- multi scenario fire-fighting simulator capable of delivering training for different types of operational incidents involving aircraft in the aerodrome and its vicinity.

Senator Hadi Sirika speaking after inspection said the facility would cost the nation about N5 billion which, he said was a safety equipment that is key for airport operations.

He noted that acquisition of the fire-fighting equipment was  in fulfilment of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority requirement for training of fire fighters in the airports which would enhance competence and proficiency in achieving the primary objective of saving lives in the event of a fire incident.

He said, “The focus of the Buhari-led administration on civil aviation is safety and security, this is therefore a component of it. We take matters of safety and security very seriously. Before now, we train our fire fighters in Cameroon and I found myself approving several hundred thousands of dollars for training in Cameroon and I said this is not it. I applied and got approval to procure this firefighting simulator and Mr President graciously approved it. It will cost the nation about N5 billion and we started it and now it is completed and it’s ready for testing. It has been tested in front of us and you have seen it, it’s in perfect working order and condition and we will install it at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Zaria (NCAT).

“The impact on our nation is it would improve our safety standards by providing proficient fire fighters. fire fighting as an important aspect of airport operations without which we cannot open our airports. The equipment can simulate cabin fire, smoke, cockpit fire, cargo fire, undercarriage fire so this is multi-functional.”

The Minister expressed pride that once installed the country will be a hub for comprehensive fire trainings.

 Also speaking, Managing Director of Glovesly Pro-Project Limited Representatives of Messrs Alpine Metal Tech. Company in Africa, Mr. Yasir Tijani Abdullahi who spoke at the United Kingdom event explained that the simulator is set to be delivered by the end of the month as everything is almost set for the installation in NCAT, Zaria.

He said,” Unlike other simulators, this is a real sized aircraft and has everything real. it is automatic and has a soft touch console. We are getting ready as it will be ready for shipping by the end of the month. This, however, is a full aircraft and will have to be disassembled into separate parts for shipping and reassembly when in Nigeria.”

On the benefits to the country, Mr. Abdullahi explained that it will improve safety and save Nigeria foreign exchange.

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