The Nigerian Federal Government is considering to lower the age-limit of commercial aircraft allowed to operate in the country from 22 to 15 years.
The Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, suggested this move at the Safety Conference of African Aviation Ministers in Abuja.
At least four Nigerian airlines would be grounded while many others would be severely affected following implementation of this plan.
Nigerian Punch newspaper reported that the plan would affect a total of 38 jetliners, representing 60 per cent of the entire fleet of Nigerian operators.
The current regulations regarding age limit of aircraft are laid down in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2009, Part 4—Aircraft Registration and Marking.
Para 22.214.171.124 states:
(a) An aircraft is eligible for registration if it is—
(1) Owned by:
(i) A citizen of Nigeria,
(ii) An individual citizen of another State who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in Nigeria,
(iii) A corporation lawfully organised and doing business under the laws of Nigeria and the aircraft is based and primarily used in Nigeria,
(iv) A government entity of Nigeria or political subdivision thereof; or
(v) A foreign person who has leased the aircraft to one of the persons described in paragraphs (i) – (iv) above, provided that:
(A) The aircraft may remain on the Nigerian registry only for as long as the lease remains in effect; and
(B) The certificate of registration includes the names and addresses of the lessee and, if different, the operator of the aircraft; and
(2) Not registered under the laws of any other State; and
(3) The aircraft is not more than 22 years old, unless the aircraft is used exclusively for general aviation purposes.