FG orders immediate suspension of Dana Air following runway Incident

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Festus Keyamo, the Aviation Minister, has instructed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to halt Dana Air’s operations.

This comes in the wake of an incident where a Dana Air plane veered off the runway at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

Keyamo has also called for a thorough examination of the airline. This audit will scrutinize safety measures, maintenance practices, and financial stability to ensure adherence to the regulations of the aviation industry.

In a correspondence addressed to the Director-General of the NCAA, titled ‘Immediate Suspension of Dana Air Pending Safety and Financial Health Audit’, Keyamo emphasized the need for safety and regulatory adherence.

The letter, signed by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the Permanent Secretary to the Minister, stated, “Recent occurrences involving Dana Airline have raised significant doubts about their safety standards and financial sustainability. Given these incidents and prioritizing the safety and welfare of our citizens and travelers, the Honourable Minister has instructed you to promptly suspend Dana Airline’s operations until a comprehensive audit is conducted.”

Keyamo stressed that the recent event highlighted the urgency of the situation and the necessity for immediate and decisive action to protect all stakeholders’ interests.

He expressed his confidence in the NCAA’s expertise and diligence in conducting the audit swiftly and thoroughly, and requested to be kept updated on the progress and any significant findings.

The incident on Tuesday prompted the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to temporarily close runway 18L/36R at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. The runway was reopened on Wednesday morning after the aircraft was evacuated and recovered from the site by FAAN’s emergency response team.

Obiageli Orah, FAAN’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, announced this in a statement. She mentioned that subsequent clearing operations were conducted to ensure the runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris (FOD) that could compromise flight safety.

She further stated that the FAAN Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had jointly inspected the runway surface and deemed it safe for operations to resume. An appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) had been issued in this regard.

Orah acknowledged that the area affected by the overshoot was significantly muddy and that a concerted effort was made for the thorough and efficient cleaning of the area to facilitate the swift resumption of operations on Runway 18L/36R.

FAAN expressed its gratitude to the traveling public, airline partners, and all stakeholders for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the temporary closure. They apologized for any inconvenience caused and reiterated their commitment to providing a safe, secure, and efficient air transport environment for all airport users.

The Dana Air aircraft, carrying 83 passengers and bearing the registration number 5N BKI, was flying from Abuja to Lagos when it experienced a runway excursion at the Lagos Murtala Mohammed airport on Tuesday. A runway excursion is when an aircraft deviates from the runway during take-off or landing.

Following the incident, Dana Air stated that all passengers were safely disembarked without injuries. The airline also announced that the aircraft had been grounded by the maintenance team for further investigation.

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