Nigeria has plans to manufacture non-commercial helicopters in the country. This is after President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated the country's commitment to launch the manufacturing of the first Made in Nigeria non-commercial helicopters.

Work is ongoing at Nigeria's National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to prove the West African country's capacity in associated technical knowledge of aircraft manufacturing and also the Aviation sector. However, this has apparently been hampered by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

β€œThe delays in getting these permits and certificates approved since 2015 had greatly affected the delivery of the goals of the project,” said Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna, EVC of NASENI.

Professor Haruna also explained that NASENI paid a visit to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This is because the NCAA is responsible for issuing permits and certification for the soon to be Made-in-Nigeria Helicopter, including certificate of Aircraft Registration, Airworthiness, noise regulation, and general certification for the helicopter of this nature.

Currently the non-commercial helicopters are manufactured by Dynali Helicopter Company in Belgium before they are transported to Nigeria. The company currently has an agreement with the Nigerian government for full technology transfer for the manufacturing of our H3 microlight helicopter in Nigeria.

β€œWe are getting teed up to train technicians from NASENI in the assembly of our helicopters from sets of parts as an initial step and this phase will be implemented as soon as the Covid evolution allows for the required travel. Once Nigerian assembly is running smoothly, we will work on the technology transfer for the fabrication of all the mechanical parts," said NoΓ«l Howard-Jones, Marketing Director at Dynali Helicopter Company.

Already, NASENI has said that it has ordered two sets of Dynali Ultralight helicopters for "reverse engineering in Nigeria to further domesticate the technology following the training of Nigerian Engineers" who were involved in the building of the first Made in Nigeria non-commercial helicopter now awaiting technical certification.

Nigeria's President Buhari has expressed that it is expected that the NASENI manufactured Made-in-Nigeria helicopters will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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