13 September 2017

Nigeria: Senate Rates Nigeria's Aviation Environment Most Hostile in the World

Three passengers disrupt Air Peace operations over safety concerns

The Senate has described Nigeria's aviation sector as one with the most hostile environment in the world. The Upper Chamber Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na'Allah (APC, Kebbi South), stated this yesterday when he had in audience leaders of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in his office.

The NAAPE leaders, led by their president, Jacob Ogwu, had urged him in his capacity as Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation and a critical stakeholder in the sector, to help in making the National Assembly beam search-lights on problems bedeviling the sector for required solutions.

Na'Allah told the visiting pilots and engineers that the Executive, and not Legislature, should be pressurised to urgently do what is right for the sector to grow and be in proper shape.

According to him: "The current Eighth Senate within three months of its inception in 2015 debated on a motion sponsored by me on problems bedeviling the sector and came up with far-reaching 24-point resolutions for the needed way out but none of the resolutions has been considered by the Executive for more than two years now.

"So, to us in the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, we have done the needful by proffering solutions. It is left for the Executive to implement the resolutions."

In another development, three passengers have been arrested for disrupting Air Peace operations over alleged safety concerns and "uncomfortable" sitting arrangement claims.

The Guardian learnt that the yet-to-be-named passengers - two men and a lady - allegedly went unruly shortly after boarding the Abuja-bound aircraft in Lagos and then prevented the take-off for at least three hours.

The passengers, it was gathered, complained of the aircraft having seats adjacent to the emergency exit doors, which they declared "not airworthy" and a security risk to air travellers.

Corporate Communications Manager of the airline, Chris Iwarah, who confirmed the incident, said: "During the pre-departure safety briefing by our crew, three passengers began to query the seating arrangement of the aircraft.

"The three passengers were eventually taken in for interrogation by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security personnel, who later transferred them to the police for further investigation."

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