The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, said it had concluded arrangement to take delivery of a Boeing 737 Simulator as part of plans to expand its training capacity.
The Rector of the college, Mohammed Abdulsalam, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Mr. Abdulsalam said the decision to acquire B737 was because it was the commonly used aircraft type by many airlines in Nigeria as well as the presidential fleet.
He said the college had made substantial payment in respect of the purchase of the simulator, adding that work had since commenced on the building that would house the aircraft at Zaria.
The rector disclosed that the simulator had been built and warehoused by the manufacturer in Canada, saying it would be on its way to Nigeria by the middle of 2018.
According to him, NCAT has made substantial payment of about 70 per cent and so, very soon we will have the simulator installed in Zaria to be able to offer B737 type-rating.
“The management of NCAT able to identify the most commonly used aircraft in Nigeria which is the Boeing 737 and used that to purchase a 737 simulator that will be installed in Zaria,” he said.
“This simulator project was also affected by the foreign exchange issue because it was also a dollar denominated project so the cost has doubled.
“I am glad to inform you that NCAT has made substantial payment for this project and work has commenced on the building that is going to house the simulator.
“The only thing that will delay the project is the release of funds but it is our firm belief that this project will see the light of the day before the end of next year.’’
Mr. Abdulsalam explained that the decision to go for B737 simulator would help the government and domestic airline operators to save cost in the recurrent training of their pilots.
He said that training of pilots, which occurred every six months, had been a huge drain on the foreign exchange of the airlines and the country.
According to him, commercial pilots usually go for the recurrent training every six months and as such NCAT is hoping to capture that market and start having that training done in Zaria.
He said, “When the national carrier does take off eventually, we hope to partner with the national carrier and should they be operating Boeing series of aircraft, we have a ready facility that they can use to train.
“We have also made provision in the building for expansion to take additional simulators and the facility is one that can house four simulators.”