The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced the lifting of a ban on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft flying into the Nigerian airspace, following two accidents involving the aircraft model in the recent past.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Director-General (D-G) of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, on Sunday, February 21, in Lagos and made available to news men.

Nuhu noted that the approval had become effective since Feb. 12, adding that the aircraft can now fly into the country’s airspace.

He explained that the NCAA banned the aircraft model because of the two accidents they recorded in the past.

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They involved Lion Air Flight 610, an Indonesian flight, which crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff, and the Ethiopian Airlines flight 320, which crashed six minutes after takeoff some months back.

Due to these disasters, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, in 2020 pronounced the ban on the operations of the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft model in the Nigerian airspace.

The D-G said that on November 18, 2020, NCAA had received a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) CAN-2020-24.

He said that it advised it of the United States Federal Aviation Administrations (FAAs) ongoing continued operational safety activities related to returning Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) aircraft service.

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“This, however, made the FAA issue a final rule/Airworthiness Directive (AD) that mandated the following actions for Boeing 737 Max aircraft which include:

“Install new flight control computer software and new 737 Max display system software; Incorporate certain Airplane Flight Manual flight crew operating procedures., modify horizontal stabiliser trim wire routing installations; conduct an angle of attack sensor system test; and conduct an operation readiness flight,” he said.

Nuhu said that it recognised that a Joint Authority Technical Review (JATR) carried out a joint review of the Boeing 737 Max planes safety system alongside FAA and NASA.

He said that the FAA had released documents on Boeing 737 Flight Standardization Board Report, revision 17, identifying special pilot training for the 737 Max planes and Safety Alert for operators.