MINISTER ORDERS INVESTIGATION INTO THE USE OF UNAUTHORIZED EQUIPMENT BY AN AIRLINE
The Honourable Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has directed an immediate investigation into the use of an unauthorized equipment by Aero Contractors Airlines at the conclusion of a charter flight to Bauchi over the weekend.
Several reports received by the Honourable Minister have indicated the airline used a ladder to disembark passengers from a Boeing 737 aircraft at the Bauchi airport on Saturday December 19th 2015.
According to the Minister, the act is inconsistent with Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).
The investigation will determine the immediate and remote causes of the incident with a view to developing and implementing measures that will prevent a reoccurrence of the unsafe and unacceptable procedure that exposed
passengers to high risk of serious injury.
He reiterated that if the airline is found culpable, the full weight of sanctions within extant laws and regulations would be applied on it.
The Honourable Minister assures the traveling public that the Ministry of Transportation in collaboration with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will ensure strict adherence to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations as well as ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices by all operators.
Sirika further states that the ministry will not shriek in its responsibility to ensure a safe and secure air transport services which he views as sacrosanct.
Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs.
Sequel to the statement by the Minister of State for Aviation, the airline through its Media Consultant, SY & T, Aero Contractor, explaining what transpired yesterday, he said: “A special charter flight operated by Aero to Bauchi had problems with unserviceable equipment by the airport management in disembarking about 34 passengers from Abuja. Consequently against the airline’s wish and operation safety guideline, the passengers used a ladder to disembark.”
“Aero wishes to state that it took adequate and safety measures for this operation, including the airport’s ground staff crew to handle the air stairs equipment in Bauchi, unfortunately it became unserviceable at the point of disembarkation.
“Although the airline crew tried to calm down the passengers to wait while the equipment was being fixed, the passengers insisted on their own volition to disembark against all safety protocol of the airline,” Aero Airlines said in the statement.