By Gabriel Agbeja
The Nigeria Safety Investigation Board (NSIB) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have expressed readiness to conduct a thorough investigation on the cause(s) of Max Air craft tyre loss.
The accident occurred at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, on Sunday.
The NCAA Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, that the outcome of the investigation would help the agencies to make appropriate recommendations to prevent any recurrence of such incident.
“A Max Air flight NGL1649 a B737 aircraft with registration 5N-MBD departed Yola for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, with 144 passengers and 6 flight crew on board.
“During landing at Abuja airport the aircraft lost some tires, the flight crew brought the aircraft to a safe stop on Runway 22 at 2.57pm local time.
“All persons on board were evacuated safely and the airport emergency services including the rescue and fire fighting services response was excellent,” he said.
The NCAA boss affirmed that Abuja airport was shutdown due to the disabled aircraft on the runway, as Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport is a single runway airport.
Nuhu stated that a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by NAMA accordingly.
“All relevant agencies including NCAA, FAAN, NAMA and NSIB swung into action collaboratively to ensure the prompt removal of the disabled aircraft from the runway and reopening of the airport for flight operations.
“Several flights both domestic and international flights were stranded at Abuja airport, while incoming flights diverted to other airports.
“The damaged wheels of the aircraft were replaced and the aircraft taxied on its power from the runway to an assigned parking position,” he added.
According to him, the runway was inspected and swept for damage and debris by officials of NCAA, Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) after which the runway was declared safe.
He said that, subsequently, the airport was reopened for resumption of flight operations after 8 p.m.
“It has come to the notice of NCAA of sensational media reports of the incident, classifying it as a crash landing thus creating panic and concerns amongst the traveling public.
“The media are urged to seek clarifications and or information as to make accurate reports of any situation.
“The traveling public should be rest assured that NCAA and other aviation agencies will spare no efforts to ensure the continued safe flight operations in Nigeria as has been the case over several years,” he said. (NAN)