Yemisi Izuora

Once again management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has called on all owners of abandoned aircraft at the graveyard of the Murtala Muhammed Airport to evacuate such issuing them a seven day ultimatum to do so.

This is another call made after a similar ultimatum were issued in 2012 with minimal compliance as the airport managers have expressed readiness to dispose of such aircraft, in line with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Director of Airport Operations, Capt Henry Omeogu, who disclosed this recently, while on a safety inspection at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Domestic Terminal 1, noted that the action had become necessary due to recurring operational hitches that have been posing serious safety concerns to aircraft and some infrastructure at the terminal.

He appealed to the owners of the aircraft, some of which had been parked at the graveyard since 2005, to immediately remove them, to forestall situations, where unscrupulous elements would use abandoned aircraft as hiding places to perpetuate criminal activities.

Stressing that the Authority would continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of all travellers and other airport users, in line with its mission statement, he enjoined all stakeholders to partner with the Authority to ensure safer and more secure airports.

Recall after same call was made late 2012 some 65 old aircraft abandoned at Lagos, Abuja, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano and other airports in the country were dismantled by AAYU Steel Nigeria Ltd.

Meanwhile others have not adhered to the removal exercise over the years but had taken FAAN to court over this issue and got court injunctions that made it difficult for the Authority to carry out this exercise before now.

With some of these cases concluded FAAN was able to remove the 65 aircraft nationwide in 2013at least for the abandoned aircraft which cases have been concluded.

FAAN management maintains that this exercise has become necessary because these aircraft constitute a serious safety hazard on the airside, apart from being an eyesore at these airports, as some of these aircraft have been abandoned for upwards of 10 years.



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