The Nigerian federal government has joined the list of countries that have placed a ban on the Boeing 737 Max airplane following the tragic Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max Air crash that took the lives of all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.
The Nigerian ban does not just cover its applications in the air transport business, no one can even fly into the nation’s airspace with the Boeing 737 max as it has been banned from entering Nigeria’s airspace until further notice.
Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. This is a direct reaction to the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crash on March 10 morning enroute from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew on board.
Subsequently, the European Union, UK, China and India banned the Boeing 737 Max from flying over their airspace due to concerns over passenger safety. Also Ethiopia, Singapore, China, France, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia have all temporarily suspended the 737 Max.
The aviation minister however said yesterday that no operator in Nigeria was using that type of airplane. He said:
“Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 that have 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 (NCAA), 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 Messers Boeing.”
“regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane, Boeing 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.”
“The world of aviation will not be sleeping just as we in Nigeria will not be sleeping. And it is normal standard practice that once a particular aircraft type is involved in accident back to back, it is withdrawn from the market to see if there is something they are doing wrong. And if it is confirmed that a particular problem, say for instance, landing gear, they will issue an instruction to ground such plane worldwide until the problem is fixed. So, this case is not different,”