A group of U.S. investors plans to start construction of a 200,000-sq-ft business aircraft maintenance base at the Iddo-Osun International Airport in western Nigeria in April. The facility, Osun Aviation, is expected to be open for business by November 1.
The investors–NigAme Aircraft, Gate Industries and Still Waters Commodities–recently signed an MoU with the Osun state government in Nigeria and have committed the $7 million needed to complete the project, meaning the necessary approvals and funding are in place.
According to Femi Adeniji, principal at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based NigAme Aircraft, the facility at Iddo-Osun will be built to FAR Part 145 requirements, and the company will initially seek EASA and Nigerian maintenance approvals. He added that Osun is already in discussions with several business aircraft OEMs about becoming an authorized third-party repair center for their respective business jets.
Adeniji said the Osun government is pushing to have the maintenance center opened by October, since the business jet fleet in Nigeria is expanding at a rapid clip. There are currently about 179 business jets based in Nigeria, up from just 20 in 2007. The latest forecast from Bombardier calls for deliveries of 810 business jets to Africa over the next 20 years.