Aviation minister orders immediate suspension Of Dana Air

THE Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has directed the immediate suspension of Dana Air, a day after one of the airline’s planes skidded off the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos runway.

The minister ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out the suspension order.

Keyamo also ordered a thorough audit of the airline.


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According to him, the comprehensive evaluation will cover every facet of safety measures, maintenance processes, and financial soundness to guarantee complete adherence to the aviation industry’s regulations.  

The minister explained that the action was required to guarantee safety and regulatory compliance in a letter addressed to the NCAA Director-General titled “Immediate Suspension of Dana Air Pending Safety and Financial Health Audit.

“In light of these incidents, with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travellers, the honourable minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airlines’s fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted.

“This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations,” the Minister stated.

He noted that the latest incident made clear how urgent the situation was and how quickly and forcefully action must be taken to protect the interests of all parties concerned. 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) temporarily closed Murtala Mohammed Airport runway 18L/36R to aircraft traffic due to the incident on Tuesday.

The runway was reopened on Wednesday morning following the evacuation and recovery of the aircraft by FAAN’s emergency response team.

This was declared in a statement by FAAN’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah.

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Orah claimed that extensive clearance operations were carried out to guarantee that there was no foreign object debris (FOD) on the runway that might jeopardise flight safety.

She said that after the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the FAAN operations division comprehensively evaluated the runway surface, it was determined that operations could resume.

She added that a suitable notice to airmen (NOTAM) had been sent out in this respect.

Orah assured that FAAN was committed to providing all airport users with a safe, secure, and efficient air transport environment.

The Dana Air aircraft, with 83 passengers and registration number 5N BKI, was flying from Abuja to Lagos when it suffered a runway excursion at the Lagos Airport on Tuesday, April 23.

Dana Air management said it eventually grounded the aircraft pending further investigation.

 The airline confirmed the incident to The ICIR in a statement from its Head of Corporate Communications, Kingsley Ezenwa.

A runway excursion occurs when an aircraft veers off the runway in use during the take-off or landing run.

According to the statement, the incident has been reported to the Nigerian Safety Investigation Board (NSIB) and the NCAA.




     

     

    It noted that passengers onboard the aircraft were safely disembarked without injuries and apologised to all passengers, commending the efforts of the airport authorities.

    In January 2018, a commercial aircraft belonging to Dana Air used its left wing to hit a fence at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

    In July 2022, the NCAA suspended the airline’s Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) due to financial obligations and the conduct of safe flight operations.

    In 2012, 159 passengers died on one of the airline’s flights when it crashed into buildings in Lagos.

     

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