There was fear and panic aboard a local flight in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos when a man attempted to make the flight but by being on the wings of the plane.
Passengers aboard the Air Azman flight heading to the southeastern Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, were heard begging to be allowed get off the plane for fear of the unknown.
The official account said the man (intruder) was sighted trying to climb onto an Azman Aircraft waiting for clearance from Air Traffic Controllers.
The pilot of the plane reported the incident to the aviation security, Avsec, and the man was arrested. “The aircraft taxied back to the apron for a thorough check” and continued with its trip to Port Harcourt.
In narrating the ordeal a passenger, Otto Orondaam, wrote the following account on Instagram: “How it happened!! So our flight was taxing on the runway and about taking off when this man shows up running towards the moving aircraft from the bush.
“The pilot and a few passengers spotted him running towards the aircraft and the pilot immediately slowed down and quickly put off the engine. The guy approaches the plane with gloves and starts walking around and under the aircraft holding a bag which he dropped inside the engine.
“Thanks to the Pilot of the Azman Airline for quickly observing and taking swift action.. I still have a million and one questions to ask cos anything could have gone wrong! Nigeria will work perfectly someday. This I know.”
In a further statement, aviation operator, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, called the incident a regrettable “airside incursion” and said it was probing the incident.
“Following the unfortunate airside incursion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos today, July 19, 2019, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has suspended indefinitely the Aviation Security unit heads who were on duty when the incident occured, pending completion of ongoing investigation into the regrettable security infringement,” a statement said.
Four officers in all were affected: the airport chief security, international terminal security chief and heads of two domestic terminals.
“The current arrangement is aimed at ensuring an efficient and thorough investigation towards the recovery and sustenance of the airport’s proactive security integrity,” the statement added.
By: Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
dre aviation Comment:
As laughable as this may sound, this is a major security breach at Nigeria's largest airport.
Considering the country has major terrorism related issues it seems inconceivable that such a breach could have occurred. This is a worrying development indeed and needs immediate action by Avsec and the Airport Authority. This is not the first airside breach in Nigeria, we have seen reported incidents of private jets having their hold doors opened and looted whilst positioning for take off etc.
Africa aviation authorities need to sit up and get a grip on Avsec as the continent is sitting on a more sinister incident just waiting to happen. There are just too many incidents being reported with regards to slack attitudes to security.
ICAO also need to launch an immediate investigation and enforce stricter airside management controls.
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