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SAHCO expands fleet of modern aviation ground handling equipment to boost operation



By Seun Ibiyemi

Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc has expanded her fleet of ultra-modern Aviation Ground Handling Equipment with acquiring Universal Loaders, Tractors, Container Dollies, Canopied Passenger Steps, Conveyor Belt loaders and Air Starter Units.

The new Universal loaders which were manufactured by French Ground Support Equipment (GSE) maker, AirMarrel in France are 7,000 tonnes lower and main deck loaders.

The GSEs are well-matched with the latest compatible standards and can be used to load both pallets and containers. Also, the loaders are equipped with Aircraft Approach sensors that minimizes accident or damage to the Aircraft body by restricting contact.

The three ruggedly built GSEs also known as E-LAM 7,000 are fitted with tier 4 Deutz engines and the capacity to travel long distances that makes them compatible for Nigerian terrains and long distance tarmac. The E-LAM 7,000s can similarly be used for loading at both the front Cargo hold and at the rear Cargo hold.

In addition, SAHCO acquired three Air Starter Units (ASU) equipment from Guinault, a GSE manufacturer resident in France. ACUs are used to start an aircraft’s engine while it is on ground.

The ASUs acquired by SAHCO can power both wide body and narrow body aircrafts. They are also fitted with tier 4 Deutz engines with low emission of carbon monoxide and are built to produce 180 pounds per minute of power.

Furthermore, the ASUs are built with aluminum chassis which is to prevent rusting thereby making them an all-weather equipment which can be used under the rain or the scorching sun.

Similarly, 6 Sherpa Tractors were procured to boost the existing fleet of GSE in SAHCO.

These tractors are built to service both Cargo and Passenger Baggage. The front wheels of the tractors have been modified to be bigger than the older models to enable a better stability of the equipment and to suit a rough terrain better, besides the seats have in-built leaf springs to ensure that the operator is comfortable driving the equipment thereby preventing any work-related development of hernia due to hard and immobile seats.

Likewise, the GSEs are fitted with tier 4 Deutz engines for low emission of carbon monoxide which makes them environmentally friendly. The Tractors which were produced by Goldhofer from Germany are built to have low fuel consumption capacity.

Also, SAHCO added 50 Container Dollies manufactured by Bombelli, an Italian GSE company to the new fleet of GSEs, these Container Dollies are used to transport Unit Load Devices (ULD) during Operations. The Dollies are made of galvanized steel to prevent corrosion and rusting and are fitted with spring loaded hooks which makes connection and pulling easy for operators.

Similarly, the Canopied Passengers Steps and Conveyor Belts were manufactured by Bombelli.

The three Canopied Passenger Steps have factory fitted Coverings to protect Passengers from the rain or scorching sun while embarking or disembarking and they are also fitted with Aircraft Proximity sensors in accordance to world best practices. The Passenger Steps also have the capacity of being motorized or manually operated and can be used to service the following Aircrafts; B737, B727, B757, CRJ, A318 – A321.

In addition, the three Conveyor Belts which are used for loading and offloading of baggages, are equally fitted with In-built Aircraft Proximity Sensors. Also, the roller belts are manufactured in a block assembly fashion which makes the GSE to convey loads faster, carry more weight and last longer.

Speaking about the equipment, the Managing Director/CEO of SAHCO, Basil Agboarumi said SAHCO “is committed to always providing safe, speedy and efficient services for clients and prospective clients.

“Furthermore, as SAHCO clients are expanding their routes, we are also ensuring that we are exceeding their expectations by expanding our fleets too.

“We are constantly training our staff both abroad and locally to learn how to operate and maintain these new equipment so as to maximize their productivity.”

Recently, SAHCO won the Best Ground Handling Award in Africa at the Aviators Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in recognition of SAHCO’s immense contribution to the development of African Aviation.

SAHCO was nominated with three other Ground Handling Companies after which SAHCO won with a landslide due to SAHCO’s continuous input in ensuring that all activities are executed according to best world practices.

SAHCO is a Publicly Listed Aviation Ground Handling Service provider that is present in all the commercially operated Airports in Nigeria which are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Calabar, Ilorin, Enugu, Maiduguri, Gombe, Ibadan, Jos, Asaba, Benin, Bauchi, Uyo, Sokoto, Kaduna, Yola, Bayelsa, Warri and Anambra.


Diversion: NCAA begins investigation on United Nigeria flight to Asaba



The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding United Nigeria flight NUA 0506 to Asaba and the confusion it has created in the public domain.

This is contained in a statement signed by NCAA Director – General, Capt. Musa Nuhu on Monday in Abuja.

” However, preliminary steps have been taken pending conclusions of ongoing investigation.

“The Authority wishes to reassure the traveling public that it will leave no stone unturned as it has always done in the past to ensure continued safety of the aviation industry, ” he said.

Meanwhile , Mr Achilleus- Chud Uchegbu, Head Corporate Communications of United Nigeria Airlines, in a statement said the flight which took of in Lagos en route Abuja on Sunday was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport, Delta.

According to him, the diversion was due to poor destination weather.

” At all material time, the pilots of the aircraft were aware of the temporary diversion and were properly briefed.

” However, a wrong announcement was made by cabin crew upon landing in Asaba creating confusion among the passengers.

” Meanwhile, the aircraft had landed safely in Abuja following improvement on destination., ” he said.

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Ogun, Aviation Ministry, other Stakeholders meet Tuesday on concessioning gateway agro-cargo airport



The Ogun State Government, Federal Ministry of Aviation, and other stakeholders will, this week, meet on concessioning the Gateway Agro-Cargo International Airport.

The airport, located in the Iperu-Ilishan axis of the state, is nearing completion with aircraft already landing at the location.

The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun speaking on a Channels TV programme on Sunday evening, disclosed that efforts by the state government to recoup every penny expended on the airport would begin with the take-off of the concessioning agreement.

Prince Abiodun said that because of the world-class facilities available at the airport, the state government received many concessioning offers.

He said: “Returns on airport investments are not seen overnight. We have been receiving unsolicited offers from others who are desirous of consessioning this airport and paying us back everything the airport costs us.

“So, for us, our money has worked. We invested in building this airport to de-risk it because we realised that if we had gone ahead and advertised for others to come and build this airport for us, we probably would only have started building it at the end of our second term. So, we decided to bite the bullet. We invested. We have built that airport.

“Because of the standard that we have adhered to– we’ve built a world class airport here– we have now received unsolicited offers to concession the airport from us and I am happy to say that we have accepted one of those offers. By the grace of God, on Tuesday , we will be signing that concession. You will see the Minister of Aviation along with the heads of aviation parastatals signing with us to a third party who currently manages three other airports in Africa.

“And this third party would be paying the entire amount the airport has cost us. So, it would now be his responsibility to run this airport in line with the world best practices. He would be responsible for bringing in traffic to this airport, and I know that he is already speaking to some major cargo companies around the world. We’ve created this enabling facility. “They said you build a road that connect you from one point to the other, but when you build an airport, it takes you from one point to the rest of the world. And we think that with what we’ve done, we’ve opened Ogun State to the rest of the world.”

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SAHCO MD/CEO bags ‘Best Practice Award’



Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) PLC’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Basil Agboarumi has been presented the ‘Best Practice Award’ by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) at the Ibom Icon Resort at Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.

The award was presented during the NIPR Director’s Conference and Retreat 8.0 by the NIPR President, Mr. Ike Neliaku in recognition and appreciation of Basil’s outstanding professionalism in public service. At the event, the Chairperson Planning Committee of the conference, Mrs. Thelma Okoh said the Conference was organised to serve as a rallying point for all the Directors in Public Relations to encourage collaborative learning for the decision makers in the industry.

Also, at the event which was well attended by the Public Relations’ Directors from both the public and private sectors and the crème-de-la-crème of the society, Mr. Basil Agboarumi gave a presentation titled: INSIGHTS FROM BEST PRACTICES MODEL. During his presentation, Basil encouraged the Public Relations Directors to ensure that they are knowledgeable about their respective operating environment so that when the opportunity to head their organisations is presented, they would be able to perform effectively.

Furthermore, Basil emphasised that integrity, loyalty and continuous personal development is key to going far in the industry and he encouraged the Directors not to rest on their oars but to continually attune themselves to learning about global best practices both locally and from foreign institutions.

Basil reiterated that for him to transition from the Public Relations landscape to seating at the head of the Board room was a product of the grace of God and competence that was demonstrated when he was given the opportunity to act in the stead of his predecessor when he was on annual leave. 

This provided an opportunity to hone his skills such that the transition was seamless when his predecessor’s tenure ended. He emphasised that having the luxury of a highly competent professional team of SAHCO to work with was something that has also made his job a lot easier.

During the award presentation, the NIPR President, Mr. Ike Neliaku said Basil Agboarumi has made the NIPR institution very proud and the award was in recognition of the good name that Basil has given the practice. He went on to say that Basil’s achievement is a testament that Public Relations Practitioners can provide leadership for institutions and are not stuck as members of the Boardroom alone.

Agboarumi while receiving the award said he was indeed humbled at the gesture and he said he was just contributing his own quota to the development of the country as a whole. He said the award would encourage more people to know that no good deed goes unrewarded and emphasised that Public Relations Practitioners should ensure that they are dependable both to their superiors and dependants and should make sure that whatever is communicated to both the public and stakeholders is nothing short of the truth.

In conclusion, Basil introduced SAHCO as a Publicly Listed Aviation Ground Handling Service provider that is present in all the commercially operated Airports in Nigeria and is involved in activities that includes Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling and Warehousing, Aviation Security, Premium Lounge services amongst other aviation related services.

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