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Nigeria’s Aviation Authority Investigates Fuel Marketers Amid Max Air Fleet Suspension

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has launched an investigation into the activities of JetA1 aviation fuel marketers following the suspension of all Boeing 737 aircraft in the fleet of Max Air over safety concerns.

The suspension was enforced after a series of incidents, including one in which water was being drained from one of the airline’s planes while on the ground in Yola. The Director-General of the NCAA, Musa Nuhu, stated that the agency was investigating fuel marketers and the airline. The suspension was conveyed in a letter with reference number NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/363, dated July 12, 2023, and titled, ‘Suspension of Parts A3 and D43 of the Operations Specifications Issued to Max Air with Immediate Effect.’

Investigation into JetA1 aviation fuel marketers and the airline’s safety concerns.
Suspension of all Boeing 737 aircraft in the Max Air fleet.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has constituted a team of inspectors to audit all Boeing 737 in the airline’s fleet.

The agency had suspended Parts A3 (Aircraft Authorization) and D43 (Aircraft Listing) of the Operations Specifications issued to Max Air Ltd. about the operations of the Boeing B737 aircraft type in the airline’s fleet. With the suspension of the two parts, the airline was ordered to suspend the operations of all Boeing B737 aircraft immediately.

The authority’s action was due to several occurrences that involved Max Air’s Boeing B737 aircraft, including the loss of the Number 1 Main Landing Gear wheel during a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which occurred between take-off at Yola Airport Adamawa State and on landing at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria, on May 7, 2023. Another incident was fuel contamination of the main fuel tanks of aircraft B737-300, leading to the Auxiliary Power Unit shutdown on the ground in Yola Airport on July 7, 2023.

The NCAA’s investigation into the fuel marketers and the airline’s safety concerns is a welcome development in the Nigerian aviation industry. The investigation will likely unearth the safety issues’ root cause and help prevent future occurrences. The aviation industry is a critical sector that requires strict adherence to safety regulations, and it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that safety is a top priority.

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