FAAN HAS IMPROVED MEASURES AGAINST AIRPORT ENCROACHMENT – NCAA

Namo, Florence

Ag Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Captain Abdullahi Sidi stated that security in Abuja and Lagos airports have been upgraded to intercept any major security issues.

With the measures that have been put in place, reported cases of encroachments on the air-side and alleged aircraft intrusions in Nigeria has been reduced drastically to ensure Nigeria continues to maintain a high rating in terms of security.

He explained that Abuja and Lagos Airports have scored over 90% in international audits on a consistent basis. He also reiterated that the government have been focusing on security and safety of Nigeria’s airports.

In captain Sid’s words “…if you remember, not long ago, Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, collected certificate from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Canada for achieving very high security standards at our airports.”

He also stated that the Transport Security Authority (TSA) of America comes to audit the Lagos airport almost every three months because the its aircraft flies in passengers into Nigeria. The country has been doing well so far.

AMCON: Arik Air Will Be Part of National Carrier, Aero to be Sold

AMCON

The plans to use Arik as part of the asset for Nigeria’s national carrier has been announced by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

It will be recalled that AMCON took over Arik Air two years ago. Before the takeover, Arik Air was indebted to the tune of over N300 billion. The takeover was initiated due to the airline’s failure to pay its debts to government agencies, aviation fuel suppliers, aircraft maintenance organisations, food vendors and insurance firms.

In order to enhance payment of the owed debts, AMCON injected the sum of N 1.7 trillion after the takeover. The intervention was to revive the airline, save jobs and protect investors and stakeholders which was confirmed by the Managing Director of Arik Air, Captain Roy Illegbodu as successful.  

The plans to include Arik Air as asset for the national carrier was disclosed by the Mr. Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director of AMCON. In his words “We want Arik to be taken as part of the assets for the national carrier, because that is the most sensible thing to do now, which is our plan.”

Sources disclose that plans to include Arik Air as part of the national carrier could be because the airline has huge hangar space, considerable fleet, administrative blocks and good personnel.

It will be recalled that Arik Air had years ago purchased some of the prime facilities and equipment of the former Nigeria Airways when it was liquidated.

In an interview with journalist earlier in the year, Sen. Hadi Sirika had disclosed that President Buhari approved the sum of N47.43 billion for the hitherto suspended Nigerian national carrier project in the 2019 budget that was passed by the National Assembly.

It will also be recalled that Aero Contractors was also acquired by AMCON in 2016. Speaking on the update, Mr. Ahmed Kuru said

“So for Aero Contractors, AMCON will be finding independent investors for that because they do not have enough aircrafts, so it is just the business we are selling.”

He said that the corporation has started discussions with investors with the aim of divesting their investments from Aero Contractor.

Update on Air Peace Emergency Landing… Lagos International Airport Activities Disrupted

Air Peace Emergency Landing

Activities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) which happens to be Nigeria’s busiest airport has been disrupted. This was due to the emergency landing made by Air Peace Aircraft Boeing 737-300 with registration number 5N-BQO earlier today, 23rd July, 2019 at about 11:28 AM. On board the aircraft were 133 passengers, 6 crew reporting minor injury but no fatality.

Air Peace Emergency Landing

The incident has been confirmed by Air Peace. The airline reported that the Captain Sinmisola Ajibola noticed sudden changes in weather when approaching Lagos. She demanded to land on international airport runway. The international Airport 18R which the aircraft landed is longer and wider than the domestic runway.

The airline said “After landing safely and rolling to the runway exit, the nose gear developed a problem and partially collapsed. The crew notified the airport authorities who quickly ensured the safe disembarkation of the passengers”

The Airline further said, “We will continue to operate in line with international practices and in accordance with regulatory guidelines”.

Accident and investigation Bureau has commenced investigation into the cause of the incident. According to AIB, “From the information provided, the aircraft nose wheel collapsed on landing on the runway 18R and the nose wheel gear tire sheared off.”

The aircraft has lost its nose wheel.

Describing the incident, some passengers said that some of the ceiling panels fell, there was chaos amongst passengers as they were afraid.

 A passenger who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the plane began to nose dive, but courtesy of the expertise of the pilot, it picked up again and suddenly dropped from the sky to the ground. The ceiling panels of the aircraft dropped and there was chaos in the cabin. The pilot intimated passengers that she cannot estimate the damage because the plane had lost its both tires and she had signalled for evacuation but emergency response did not come until fifty-two (52) minutes after they landed.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has also confirmed the incident. The aircraft has been removed from the runway.

Unidentified Intruder Enters the Runway and Climbs Azman Air Aircraft

There was commotion as an intruder in this video taken by passengers (click to open video), entered the runway at Murtala Muhammed Airport this morning, 19th July, 2019.

There was chaos among the passengers onboard Azman Air. An unidentified man ran into the runway and climbed the aircraft; he climbed the wing, then the intake of the engine, came down and was walking and talking all alone around the aircraft.

The aircraft with registration number 5N-HAI which was to depart to Port Harcourt, was awaiting clearance for takeoff from the Air Traffic Controllers.

The pilot however reported the situation and Avsec officials responded by apprehending the man.

The Aircraft was taxied back to the apron for thorough check before its departure to Port Harcourt.

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said in a press release it is investigating the incident.

Air Zimbabwe: Three (3) Airplanes Missing

Air Zimbabwe

Three (3) airplanes (MA60) have been reported missing from Zimbabwe. The airplanes belong to Air Zimbabwe the national carrier of Zimbabwe and was reported unaccounted for.

Sources have it that the airplanes were acquired by the national carrier between 2005 and 2006 for about $12.5 million each.

The Auditor General, Ms. Mildred Chari said on the Sunday News (30th June, 2019) that there is no paper trail or explanation to establish what happened to the three airplanes. Ms. Chari has failed to ascertain the whereabouts of the airplanes.

According to Ms. Chari, “The breakdown in internal controls continued in the current year and accordingly I was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that the financial statements are not materially misstated.”  She also stated that there was no appropriate audit and inventory in the airline between 2009 to 2013.

Air Peace Flight Skids Off Runway in Port Harcourt Airport, Nigeria, Airport Closed

An air Peace Aircraft with registration number 5N-BRB overshot the runway while landing at Port Harcourt Airport during a rainfall on an afternoon of June 22nd, 2019.

According to sources, the plane had 6 crew members and 87 passengers on board. It is reported that there were no casualties.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mrs. Toyin Olajide confirmed the incident and said ” Our professional crew quickly recovered within seconds of the incident and the aircraft was successfully normalized.”

Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB) said it has been notified of the incident. According to AIB Nigeria, the plane skidded off the runway to the left about 1300m from runway 21 threshold at Port Harcourt International airport.

Due to the incident, the Airport was closed since 3pm 22nd June, 2019. As at the morning of 23rd June, 2019 the airport was still closed and operations crippled. It is hoped that the aircraft will be removed and new NOTAM issued to allow continuous business at the Port Harcourt Airport for Airlines.

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA Lockdown

NCAA Lockdown

Activities in Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA have been locked down as the four unions in the Nigerian Aviation industry have embarked on industrial action. The three (3) days warning strike commenced on 22nd May, 2019.

The four unions; the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) last week issued a 7-day ultimatum to the concerned authorities to accede to their demands. The authorities’ failure to do so has led to an industrial action. The secretaries general of the unions issued the directives to NCAA staff after a meeting on Monday 22nd May, 2019.

NCAA Lock-down

The unions are unhappy over the organogram approved by the Ministry of Transport, Aviation and the condition of service. They said the said organogram is in deviation with the agreement of the committee set up by the ministry to review it. They are demanding the immediate implementation of the new organogram for the NCAA as agreed with the ministry, the unions and the management of NCAA.

Agencies like Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and other agencies are also there to support NCAA staff on the industrial action.