The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has solicited the support of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to develop made-in-Nigeria helicopters.
Chief Executive Officer, NASENI, Prof. Muhammed Haruna made the appeal in Lagos, during a courtesy visit to the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman at the Aviation House ,Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos.
Haruna stated that NASENI had in the past manufactured an Agriculture Based Unmanned Area Vehicle (AB-UAV), tricycles commonly referred to as “Keke NASENI and successfully developed the “Gulma Drone ” in collaboration with the Nigeria Air Force(NAF).
He expressed confidence that the made-in-Nigeria helicopter project would be a success with the support of the NCAA and other stakeholders.
According to him, “Previously, we have produced unmanned aerial vehicle. Our own version was commissioned by the Vice-President when there was technology expo in Abuja. But we are not stopping there, research and development is continuing. What we are saying is that we want to copy other people’s technologies and to do this copying, we came here asking for guidance and support from NCAA. It is our target and hope that before the end of 2019, our people should have mastered the art on how to do it. Research and Development is not one or two – day affair but we have facilities for reverse engineering.”
“In fact we have a centre which we call rapid prototyping centre. Any machine that you want to reproduce, we have facilities, advance manufacturing equipment for that matter on how to give us something fast but then aviation is a high safety and security industry that certain things, we must wait for certification from here before we proceed further,” he said.
He stated that the agency had selected Dynali Helicopter Manufacturing Company of Belgium as a willing partner to fast-track technology acquisition and domestication.
Responding, the NCAA Director General stated that aviation was highly regulated, international in nature and also involves safety and security.
According to Usman, “That is why the NASENI came today for us to partner and work to ensure that international standard and recommended practices are maintained because aviation is high precision industry, it involves safety and security. In the area of unmanned aerial vehicle, it is a fast evolving technology worldwide, we have issued our advisory circulars on the registration and the use of such equipment and also we have gone very far, in fact we are almost concluding the regulations for the use of unmanned aerial vehicle.”