Plane spotting Nigeria’s aircraft graveyards with Google Earth

The AP , BBC  and Business Insider have all recently had stories about Nigeria’s aircraft graveyards where many aircraft that are no longer serviceable have been left to rust and rot by insolvent aviation companies or were impounded for smuggling. Apparently, the government is finally taking action and workers at the international airport in Lagos are dismantling abandoned aircraft in an area nicknamed the “graveyard” which contains aircraft ranging from small jets to a Boeing 747.

A quick look at the Lagos airport on Google Earth seems to indicate the aircraft graveyard being in the far upper right corner of the screenshot below:

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Here is a close up revealing about a dozen abandoned aircraft:

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The articles also reported aircraft graveyards at other Nigerian airports, including the airport at the capital of Abuja along with Kano, the main northern city. A quick look at the Airport in Abuja seems to indicate around half a dozen abandoned aircraft to the northeast of the airport and it appears the aircraft tails of some of the bigger aircraft are separated from the aircraft fuselages:

GolfHotelWhiskey.com - Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Nigeria

A look at Kano’s airport seems to indicate the two aircraft in the far left of this picture along with the one in the far right could be abandoned.

GolfHotelWhiskey.com - Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Nigeria

Despite the above problems, Nigeria has one of the world’s fastest growing business jet markets with a recent Forbes article reporting that wealthy Nigerians have spent an estimated $6.5 billion on private jets over the past five years. The article also cited a report by a Nigerian newspaper which estimated the number of privately-owned aircraft in the country has risen by 650% between 2007 and 2012 or from a total of 20 private jets to over 150 as of late last year.

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