A passenger plane belonging to Middle East Air (MEA) has been grounded by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for bruising the left wing and lower part of Kabo Air's Boeing 747 aircraft in its attempt to park soon after landing at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano.
The Nigerian authorities said they would not release the plane until after investigations that began since last Wednesday.
The incident happened last Tuesday night. The MEA airliner's right wing equally got damaged when it hit the already parked 747 aircraft. The plane was coming from Ghana on its way to Lebanon. All the passengers on board are now accommodated at a hotel in Nassarawa GRA in Kano. Both planes are now kept at the airport's hangar. Daily Trust learnt that the incident could have been averted if there was sufficient light at the airport's tarmac. It was gathered that the plane's pilot could not view the whole space as there was no sufficient light all over the place.
Investigations revealed that the Kabo plane's left wing and lower part on which the aircraft's huge tank lies were badly damaged. Authorities of Kabo Air, our correspondent reports, insisted that the Middle-East Air must take full responsibility of the damage done and repair the aircraft according to international standard.
Corporate Affairs Manager Kabo Air Aminu Hamza confirmed the incident, saying Kabo engineers had already assessed the extent of damage done to their aircraft and made their report available to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for further investigation.
He said the Kabo plane was neatly parked at the time of the incident as it was not kept outside the prescribed parking lots. He said most parts of lower body of the plane were badly bruised and its left wing broken. He said he could not say much as the incident was still being investigated by the relevant aviation authorities.
Officials of the Middle-East Air declined comment, saying however that the incident was not worth reporting in the media. Manager of the airline in charge of Kano office could not be found on seat when our correspondent went there for his own comment on the incident. Some staff of the office who said they were barred from speaking to newsmen said the manager went to the airport in connection with Tuesday's incident.
Kano airport manager Ali Nok said he was not aware of the incident and so he could not comment on it. Nok said he was barred from speaking with the press on a matter like this. He however referred our reporter to the FAAN headquarters in Lagos for all our enquiries.
But deputy regional manager Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority at Kano airport Mustapha Yerima said investigations had already begun on it and also confirmed the grounding of the MEA plane and the extent of damage done to the Kabo plane could only be established after investigations by Nigeria's aviation experts.