By Chinelo Obogo
The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Kaduna State, has denied reports that the modern Boeing 737NG Full Flight Simulator (FFS) procured for about $21 million by the Federal Government and delivered since June 2020 may be lying fallow at its premises.
The school’s management stated that the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for the the delay in installation and that the simulator is shielded by a protective cover layer and not a tarpaulin.
But reacting to the report, NCAT’s Rector, Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed said: “There is a fully completed building for it but the Covid-19 pandemic is what is causing the delay in the installation. What is there is not tarpauline, but the protective covering placed by manufacturer-CAE. We’re waiting for the installation team to come and do the unpacking, to avoid damage to sensitive equipment. NCAT is very eager to see the simulator installed.”
The Federal Government invested $21 million to purchase the equipment which would aid pilots training as well as tackle capital flight. However, reports alleged that the multi-million dollar equipment was still covered by a tarpauline, outside in the elements. The report stated that the simulator is outside close to the flying school and subjected to the elements despite years of expecting the equipment.
In 2017, one of the reasons why the simulator manufacturer, CAE refused to ship the simulator was because there was no building ready to house it and they did not want the simulator to sit in containers. The reason given by the previous administration was that contractors handling the building were told to expedite work so that by the end of 2018, the housing for the simulator would be completed.
In 2019, the school’s management said the simulator has been constructed, but it was there waiting shipment. “It is too big to enter a container. So, when they bring it in the container, they won’t be able to cover it. If they bring it in and the building is not ready, it would be exposed to the elements and that is why the manufacturer advised us not to expose it until the building is ready.’’