By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Two years after the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) established its first in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) centre to take care of its aircraft indigenously, it said on Wednesday that it has established its first indigenous helicopter PDM.
The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), NAF Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Sani Ahmed, made this disclosure at the closing ceremony of the two-day Logistics workshop seminar held in Lagos.
He said the helicopter PDM will take care of servicing all helicopters of the NAF instead of flying them abroad for maintenance or bringing in expatriates to fix them, as was obtainable in the past.
Tapping into its local engineering scheme, the NAF seeks to curb capital flight due to the scarcity of hard earned foreign exchange, while at the same time creating employment and enhancing local capacity.
At the hangar, faulty NAF helicopters will be reactivated by the Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited (AETSL), a unit of the Nigerian Air Force Holdings Company (NAFHC), in a purely indigenous scheme utilising Airforce engineers.
Ahmed said, “The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar has given the go ahead for the helicopter in country PDM. The depot will take care of all maintenance of all helicopter for the NAF.
“While we have begun in country PDM for our aircrafts, especially the C-130, there is no PDM for helicopters anywhere in Nigeria.
“It’s purely an indigenous PDM centre, where NAF staff will work, repair and maintain our helicopters. For now, we will not go commercial but we will concentrate on only repairs of NAF helicopters.”