Runway excursion: Aviation Minister suspends Dana Air - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Runway excursion: Aviation Minister suspends Dana Air

Following a runway excursion incident suffered by Nigerian carrier, Dana Air, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, yesterday, the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development has suspended the airline until comprehensive audits on its fleet are conducted.

A statement signed by the ministry's Permanent Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, on Wednesday, said recent incidents involving Dana Air have raised concerns about the safety and financial viability of the airline's operations

Meribole, who stated that the audit must include safety protocols, maintenance procedures and financial health, stressed that the move to suspend the airline was aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of Nigerians.

The statement reads: “As the supervisor overseeing our nation's aviation safety and regulatory compliance, it has come to the Honourable Minister's attention that recent incidents involving Dana Airline have raised serious concerns regarding both the safety and financial viability of their operations.

“In light of these incidents and with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travelers, the Honourable Minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline'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 recent incidents have underscored the urgency of this matter, and it is imperative that swift and decisive action be taken to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders involved. I trust in your expertise and diligence in carrying out this audit thoroughly and expeditiously. Please keep me informed of the progress and any significant findings throughout this process.”

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Commenting on the development,  an Aviation Security Expert, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd) told Vanguard: “That is not the job of a minister. What it means is that there is no confidence in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB. He has taken over the job of the agencies these are the things that are wrong, and the world is looking at us. He doesn't have the authority. How can he suspend? Is the report out? Has he read the report? The International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, is watching and International Air Transport Association, IATA, is watching.”

A member of the Aviation Roundtable, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, on his part, said: “This is gross interference. This is a man who, from the day he came in, promised not to interfere with safety, and this safety related issue. This is not right. It is the same mistake he made with the airport marketing. That should come from the NCAA, not him. It is playing to the gallery.”

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