Nigeria’s prominent airline, Max Air, has been forced to halt its domestic operations following a suspension imposed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). In a letter bearing the reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/363, the NCAA directed the immediate suspension of Parts A3 and D43 related to Max Air’s Boeing 737 aircraft type. The Parts A3 and D43 pertain to the airline’s Aircraft Authorization and Aircraft Listing of the Operations Specifications respectively.
As a consequence, Max Air’s domestic flights will remain grounded until the regulatory agency rescinds the suspension. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority stated in the letter that it has suspended the aforementioned parts of the Operations Specifications issued to Max Air Ltd. concerning the operations of the Boeing B737 aircraft type in their fleet. The airline has been directed to cease operations of all Boeing B737 aircraft in their fleet promptly.
The decision by the NCAA stems from a series of incidents involving Max Air’s Boeing B737 aircraft, as detailed in the letter signed by Captain Ibrahim Bello Dambazau, the Director of Operations Training & Licensing, on behalf of the Director General of Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu. The occurrences mentioned include the loss of the number 1 main landing gear wheel during a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft, registered as 5N-MBD. This incident transpired between take-off at Yola Airport in Adamawa State and landing at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on May 7, 2023.
Furthermore, the letter highlights fuel contamination in the main fuel tanks of another aircraft, a B737-300 with the registration marks 5N-MHM. This contamination resulted in the shutdown of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) on the ground at Yola Airport on July 7, 2023. Additionally, an aborted take-off occurred on July 11, 2023, involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft with registration marks 5N-MBD at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) due to high Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) indication. Finally, an air return was made by the aircraft B737-300, registered as 5N-MHM, to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) due to duct overheat indication in the cockpit on the same day, July 11, 2023.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has assembled a team of inspectors who will conduct an audit of Max Air. The Authority has made it clear that the audit’s outcome must be deemed satisfactory before considering the restoration of operational privileges and the resumption of aircraft type operations for Max Air.
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