Nigeria has taken delivery of its first modern calibration aircraft for $8.5 million.
The aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, announced on Twitter on August 29 that the Beechcraft King Air 350i would help improve Nigeria airspace’s safety and security.
“Just received new calibration aircraft for the country. Make is King Air 350i. Cost $8.5M,” Mr Sirika wrote. “The agony of contracting it to South Africa or Niger at about $500K every 6 months is over. Our airspace is safer,” he wrote.
The minister credited President Muhammadu Buhari for entirely supervising purchase of the aircraft.
Mr Sirika, a retired pilot and former senator, took early pictures in the aircraft’s cockpit and posted them on his Twitter handle.
Just received new calibration aircraft for the country. Make is King Air 350i. Cost $8.5M. The agony of contracting it to South Africa or Niger at about $500K every 6 months is over. Our airspace is safer. Thanks Mr President, we started & finished during your regime 🕺🏽💪🏽🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/5C74RxSNPF
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) August 29, 2019
Aviation authorities use a calibration aircraft to monitor communication and navigation equipment for accuracy and effectiveness.
It was unclear when Nigeria last took delivery of such a plane, but there are reports that it has been more than 20 years, and the latest purchase appears to be the country’s first in modern aviation history.