NCAA to audit all local airlines as Air Peace makes emergency landing at Lagos airport

NCAA to audit all local airlines as Air Peace makes emergency landing at Lagos airport

The Federal Government has said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, will execute a comprehensive audit of all local airlines in the country.

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The Federal Government has said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, will execute a comprehensive audit of all local airlines in the country.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, made this known on Thursday, April 25, saying that beyond the suspension of Dana Airlines and the ongoing audit of the airline, all other carriers in the country would be audited to guarantee the safety of passengers and the health of the civil aviation industry.

Keyamo has come under fire in the last 24 hours over what some civil aviation watchdogs described as external interference in the autonomy of the NCAA.

On Wednesday, April 24, the aviation minister directed the NCAA to suspend Dana Airlines, saying recent events of the local carrier raised serious concerns regarding both the safety and financial viability of their operations.

He said the airline should remain suspended until the conduct of a comprehensive audit, a directive NCAA Director General Chris Najomo enforced immediately.

The suspension of Dana Air was enforced some 24 hours after one of the airlines’ planes skidded off the runway at Lagos airport.

Some stakeholders subsequently said it was wrong for the minister to direct the NCAA to suspend an airline, urging Keyamo to respect the autonomy of the regulator.

However, Keyamo slammed his critics, saying that the law empowers him to direct the NCAA to do the right thing in matters of national security.

The minister argued that a series of incidents had happened two years ago that the airline is not healthy.

“Let those aviation experts take their wives and children to board that airline that was declared unsafe,” said a furious Keyamo.

“Would Nigerians have preferred that I keep quiet and be part of the cartel, all in the name of I am not supposed to interfere? What am I doing as minister?” he queried.

On how long the audit of Dana Airlines would take, he said, “It can be as quick as possible. Like I said, do the right thing, return to business. We must do the right things for the safety of Nigerians. Not only them (Dana Airlines), but we will also carry an audit of all of them, all of them. Let Nigerians be safe when they fly our airlines.”

Meanwhile, an Air Peace aircraft conveying passengers from Port Harcourt made an emergency landing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on the same Thursday after the pilots noticed a fire warning indicator in the cockpit.

Air Peace’s aircraft, which had 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board, landed safely at 4:45pm on Runway18L of the Lagos airport.

The pilots immediately shut down the engines of the aircraft after fire fighting personnel reportedly observed smoke on the engines.

The call sign of the aircraft is: APK7193.

In a statement, Air Peace said it was later discovered that the fire warning noticed in the cockpit was false.

The statement was titled, ‘Notification of false fire alarm on Port Harcourt-Lagos flight.’

It read, “We wish to inform the flying public of an incident that occurred during our Port Harcourt-Lagos flight P47193 of today, April 25, 2024.

“Some minutes before landing, our Captain noticed a fire warning indicator in the cockpit. The pilots performed all safety precautionary measures, and the fire indicator went off. The Captain immediately notified our Operations Control Centre in Lagos at 17:37 hrs.

“It was determined upon landing that the alarm was falsely triggered as there was no fire event. The aircraft landed safely, and all passengers disembarked normally.
“We want to reassure the flying public that safety remains our utmost priority, and we are unwavering in our commitment to it.”