Blog
Business Aircraft Operations to Nigeria (Updated)
by Admin on May 2, 2018

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has become a burgeoning hub for business aviation in the continent. The country is on its way to becoming a major aviation powerhouse, as infrastructural factors, such as weak transport and airline connectivity has led to private jets dominating the country’s airspace and leading to a significant growth in the market for business aircraft operators in Nigeria.

Our aim is to help aircraft operators with smooth operations when flying to Nigeria. The following article clarifies the most important operational, regulatory, and ground service issues that must be taken into consideration by private and charter aircraft operators when planning a flight to Nigeria.

Which airport should you fly to in Nigeria?

If you are planning a flight to Nigeria, you must keep in mind the important airports:

  • Murtala Muhammed International Airport (DNMM/ LOS) in Lagos
  • Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (DNKN/KAN) in Kano
  • Kaduna International Airport (DNKA/KAD) in Kaduna
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe / Abuja International Airport (DNAA/ABV) in Abuja

All these airports are airports of entry (AOE) and operate 24 hours. Airports in Nigeria are not slot coordinated. Abuja is the capital of the country but DNMM/LOS in Lagos is the most important airport in Nigeria. Initial arrivals and final departure from Nigeria must be from an international airport, with the preferred choice being Lagos (DNMM/LOS), Abuja (DNAA/ABV), Port Harcourt (DNPO/PHC), and Kano (DNKN/KAN).

 

 

Do you require an overflight and a landing permit when flying to Nigeria?

For flying to Nigeria, it is mandatory for aircraft operators to obtain an overflight and a landing permit. While the official lead time for an overflight permit is 4 hours during working days, it could take around 12 hours during weekends (Saturday-Sunday is the official weekend in Nigeria).

For a landing permit, the official lead time is 24 hours but permits request made after the official working hours might take more time (the official working hours in Nigeria is 0700-1600 UTC +1). Both the overflight and landing permit will be valid for 48 hours.

It should be noted that both The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are responsible for the issuance of the overflight and landing permit in Nigeria. Any change in schedule, routing, aircraft type, or crew requires submission to NCAA and notifying NAMA. Keep the landing permit handy as it is common for ATC to ask pilots for the landing permit number upon descent of aircraft.

 

What are the ground handling services options in Nigeria?

For ground handling services, Execujet Aviation Group, one of the giants in African FBO group, should be your preferred FBO, especially in Lagos (DNMM/LOS). With a customs and immigration service on site, VIP lounge, board meeting room, and a room for the crew to relax, the majority of the aircraft operators are now maintaining their aircraft here instead of flying them to Europe and North America.

The other important FBO in the region is EAN Jet Center operated by Evergreen Apple Nigeria. Along with maintenance service, this FBO also has a private crew area inside the lounge (which can host up to six crew), and a separate crew rest area within the facility.

If you’re planning on flying to any other airport in Nigeria, keep in mind that FBO facilities are still not available, and only commercial and cargo ground handlers provide the services, such as SAHCOL and NAHCO.

Factors to consider for aviation fuel services in Nigeria

Recent fuel shortage, mode of payment for aviation fuel services, and credit facility not available without a prior contract are just some of the few factors to consider when you’re planning for your aviation fuel services in Nigeria. While, the country does have reputed jet fuel suppliers like CleanServe, ConOil, Oando, So Aviation, and Total, credit facility is not offered by them without a prior contract.

Payment for the services must be either in cash before departure, or by an accepted fuel release from a reliable contract fuel reseller. Aircraft operators should note that credit cards are not accepted to pay for aviation fuel services and when operating domestically, a tax will be levied on the aviation fuel.

These factors should be taken into consideration when buying aviation fuel in Nigeria. It is recommended to let your supervisory flight support provider take care of your fuel requirement so that you get the highest quality fuel at the best price.

Visa requirements for Nigeria

Visa on arrival is not an option when flying to Nigeria. Arrange your clients visa prior to their arrival in Nigeria. For crew, they can enter Nigeria without a visa for 72 hours, with the following prerequisites

  • They need to have Gen Dec
  • They should be in their crew uniform
  • They should have their crew ID

Visa is required for crew if they intend to stay longer than 72 hours.

 

Preferred mode of transportation to travel in Nigerian cities

For client travelling to Nigeria, we advise using only chauffeured transportation rented from professional car rental companies. Public transportation should be avoided as much as you can for security reasons.

Road traffic volume is high, hence when operating to Lagos (DNMM) and Abuja (DNAA), it can take around 45 minutes to reach downtown from the airport.

 

Preferred mode of transportation to travel in Nigerian cities

For client travelling to Nigeria, we advise using only chauffeured transportation rented from professional car rental companies. Public transportation should be avoided as much as you can for security reasons.

Road traffic volume is high, hence when operating to Lagos (DNMM) and Abuja (DNAA), it can take around 45 minutes to reach downtown from the airport.

 

Selections of hotels and in-flight catering in Nigeria

When in Lagos, the best hotels are in Victoria Island, the main business centre of Lagos, with Sheraton Hotels and Tower being a popular choice with tourists. There are several luxury hotel options available in Nigeria, and a selection of good hotels near the airport if you want to avoid the traffic.

For in-flight catering, EAN Jet Center in Lagos has a dedicated executive in-flight catering, restaurant, and bar operating under the name of “Wings In-Flight” in its hangar facility. In-flight catering can also be arranged by your third-party provider from a reputed hotel or restaurant in town too.

 

Security considerations for your trip to Nigeria

Airports in Nigeria boasts of an excellent terminal and ramp security for passengers, crew, and aircraft. While the FBOs and hangars are all secured with CCTV and security guards; private security, armed guards, and secured transportation can be arranged if desired.

With a continuous changing political scene of the country, while the main cities are safe there is news of accidents happening every now and then. It is better to advise clients and crew to stick to the main cities and city-centres and avoid the suburbs and rural areas.

No longer just another developing country, Nigeria has become an important player in the aviation world. We would recommend using a third-party provider to avoid any hindrance for smooth operations of your flight to Nigeria. Your client might be planning for their trip to Nigeria, make sure you are ready to!

 

Operational Information for Flying to Nigeria

Download our full Infographic, to keep it handy when scheduling your next trip to Nigeria  

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