Nigeria probes commercial flight landing in wrong destination
Nigerian authorities have launched a probe in an incident where a domestic flight landed in an unscheduled destination.
The incidentcaused an uproar among aviationstakeholders over air transport security, after the United Nigeria Airline flight NUA 0506 with more than 232 passengers from Lagos enroute to Abujalanded in Asaba, capital of Delta State,to the consternation of the passengers, flight crew and foreign pilots.
As the confusion raged, the airlineis accused of not giving a factual explanation why the plane was diverted to Asaba which is far away from Abuja, instead of Kaduna which normally receive distress planes when there is poor weather in Abuja.
Aviation and Aerospace Minister Festus Keyamo said on Tuesday that he had directed the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB to release result of the investigation on the incident within 10 days.
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Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Keyamo confirmed that flight operating from Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos en route to Abuja on Sunday landedin Asaba International Airport in Delta state.
He ordered NSIB to give aninvestigative report within ten daysand gave assurance that the ministry was taking every step to ensure the safety of lives of Nigerians who travelby air.
According to him, a transcript from the tower of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA indicated that the pilot took off from Lagos headed to Asaba instead of not Abuja.
“There was no weather problem, NiMet’s DG is here. It was a question of wet lease plane. Pilots and the cabin crew were foreigners,” he stated.
“They were not familiar with the Nigerian terrain. So, it was purely an issue of in-house administrative issues.We have agreed from now thatany wet lease coming into Nigeria must have a local pilot and Nigerians as its cabin crew,” he said.
TheNigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA Director General CaptMusa Nuhusaid the authority also commenced investigation into the incident.
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Meanwhile, Achilleus- Chud Uchegbu, head of Corporate Communications at United Nigeria Airlines, in a statement said the flight which took-off in Lagos en route Abuja on Sunday was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor weather.
Apassenger who was in the plane argued that the plane might have had a wrong flight plan and was actually not diverted to Asaba due to bad weather.
Sharing pictures of infuriated passengers, a Nigerian man mocked the airline for landing them in another state as the flight took off for a second time.