The National Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday announced that it had completed all the requirements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority that were needed for the resumption of its air ambulance services.
It stated that the inaugural air ambulance return flight took place recently when the agency’s aircraft airlifted some officials from Abuja to Jigawa State and back to the Federal Capital Territory.
“NEMA Air Ambulance has resumed operations after successful routine maintenance and completion of all civil aviation requirements,” the agency stated in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesperson, Ezekiel Manzo.
It added, “An official inaugural return flight was held as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, and Director-General, NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, were conveyed from Abuja to Dutse, Jigawa State on official engagement.”
In 2014, NEMA introduced its first air ambulance for emergency health care. The airplane, which was inaugurated at the Trauma Centre of the National Hospital, Abuja, was for quick transportation of patients with emergency cases.
The then Chief Pilot and Head of NEMA Special Wing, Capt. Ibrahim Mamman, had stated that the project was part of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government at the time.
“The air ambulance can be used to transport patients with critical and traumatic health situations from anywhere the individual is,” Mamman had said.
“As a matter of fact, the jet can go anywhere in the world. It has a mile range of 3,000 miles.”
However, in 2018 operations of the air ambulance service were grounded after it was due to routine maintenance and regulatory requirement.
The agency stated on Tuesday that following changes in leadership, the repair of the aircraft was completed last year and returned from France.
“This year the present management finalised all regulatory requirements in returning the aircraft to its ambulance operations,” the agency stated.