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How much does the layperson know of the aviation industry here in Nigeria? Here are 10 facts to know: 1. The aviation industry started in Kano State in 1925 when an RAF fighter jet landed on a racecourse. Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is the oldest in Nigeria and it started operations in 1936. 2. The United Kingdom is Nigeria’s largest aviation market and home to a large diaspora community of Nigerians.
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3. KLM is known as the oldest airline in the world (founded in 1919). It started its operations in Nigeria in 1947 with scheduled flights into Kano operated with a DC-4. They later introduced scheduled flights to Lagos from Amsterdam in 1961. 4. It is standard practice that all international airline pilots speak English regardless of what tribe, language or country they originate from. 5. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was established in 1999 but commenced operations in January 2000. Before the NCAA, the regulations of the aviation industry and provision of air traffic services were carried out by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Federal Ministry of Aviation as far back as 1989. The Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) was later established in 1990 to take over the function of CAD before it was revamped to NCAA.
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6. Four major accidents in 2005-2006 led to the adoption of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) in 2006 and the achievement of Federation Aviation Administration Category 1 flight safety status in 2010. 7. There are 5 aviation schools in Nigeria. They are Dhaewood Aviation Business School (DABS, privately owned), Universal School of Aviation, Landover Aviation Business School, International Aviation College, and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT, the oldest aviation school in Nigeria). 8. Nigeria is an important destination for over 22 foreign carriers with bilateral air service agreements with over 78 countries. Though there are no direct links to the growing markets of Asia, Middle Eastern carriers are dominantly positioned to link Nigeria and Asia’s powerful hubs. 9. Nigeria has twenty (20) airports, and many regulated airstrips and heliports. It has 23 active domestic airlines; 554 licensed pilots; 913 licensed engineers and 1700 cabin personnel. 10. Nigeria Airways was established on the 23rd of August 1958. At that time, it was known as West African Airways Corporation Nigeria (WAAC Nigeria). After the 1960 Independence, the airline was solely controlled by the Nigerian government. It went through many changes before it ceased operations in 2012. In July 2018, Nigeria launched plans for a new national airline to be called Nigeria Air, which was set to take off in December that year, but it was suspended indefinitely in September 2018. This just goes to show that there is more to know about the aviation industry besides the cost of flights. We hope you learned something new from this.   References: NCAA Legit NG Aviation Tribune Nigerian Aviation Fact Sheet USA Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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This article was first published on 11th January 2021


Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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