- The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have launched an investigation into the cause of the Max Air aircraft incident that occurred at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
- The media has been criticized for sensationalizing the incident, and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have appealed to the public not to ridicule Max Air, which they consider one of the safest airlines globally.
- The Boeing 737, with 144 passengers and six crew members on board, lost some tires while landing at Abuja airport but was safely brought to a stop on Runway 22 by the flight crew. All passengers and crew were evacuated safely, and the airport was reopened after the disabled aircraft was removed from the runway.
The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have begun an investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the Max Air aircraft incident, which occurred at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja on Sunday afternoon.
This is as NSIB, NCAA and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have decried the media sensationalism, which trailed the incident.
The aircraft a Boeing 737 with the flight number: NGL1649 and registration number: 5N-MBD departed Yola Airport for Abuja with 144 passengers and six flight crew on board.
During landing at Abuja airport, the aircraft lost some tyres, the flight crew brought the aircraft to a safe stop on Runway 22 at 14:57 local time.
Aviation authorities investigate
Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, General Manager, NSIB, told Nairametrics that the bureau had deployed its investigators to the scene of the accident for investigation.
He explained that NSIB was informed of the incident immediately after it occurred in Abuja by stakeholders in the industry.
Also, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, of Public Affairs, at Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said its inspectors have begun an investigation into the incident.
Adurogboye said that NSIB and NCAA would conduct a thorough investigation of the incident to determine the root cause and make appropriate recommendations to prevent any recurrence of such incidents.
- “The airport is a 24-hour aerodrome. Our men are on the ground 24 hours because the airport is 24 hours aerodromes. We are already aware and on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday in a statement said all persons on board were evacuated safely and the airport emergency services including the rescue and fire fighting services response were excellent.
According to him, during the period of the incident, a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to airlines and other concerned stakeholders.
Nuhu confirmed that several flights both domestic and international flights were stranded at Abuja airport, while incoming flights were diverted to other airports as a result of the incident.
He said that the damaged wheels of the aircraft had been replaced and the aircraft taxied on its power from the runway to an assigned parking position.
- He said: “All relevant agencies including NCAA, NAMA, NSIB and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) swung into action collaboratively to ensure the prompt removal of the disabled aircraft from the runway and reopening of the airport for flight operations.
- “The runway was inspected and swept for damage and debris by officials of NCAA, FAAN and NAMA, after which the runway was declared safe. Subsequently, the airport was reopened for resumption of flight operations after 8 pm.”
Nuhu, however, lamented sensational media reports of the incident, classifying it as a crash landing, thereby creating panic and concerns among the travelling public.
He appealed to the media to seek clarifications and or information when in doubt of any report.
He assured that NCAA and other aviation agencies would spare no efforts to ensure the continued safe flight operations in Nigeria.
Also, AON decried the sensational reporting of the incident, saying it created unnecessary fears in the minds of the flying public.
In a statement issued by Mr. Allen Onyema, the Vice President, of AON, the association said that such an incident could happen to any airline.
AON insisted Max Air is one of the safest airlines in the world and should not be ridiculed because of this incident.
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