Home Safety AirPeace aircraft: There was no attempted theft…., Your airport is porous, stop...

AirPeace aircraft: There was no attempted theft…., Your airport is porous, stop the unhealthy denial….AirPeace

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AirPeace airline has alleged an attempted theft on its Abuja bound flight yesterday evening by suspected thieves at the domestic wing of the Lagos airport.

The airline said the cargo hold of the aircraft while holding for departure on Runway 18R (A1)was opened for about 15 seconds and immediately shut.

In a statement issued this Friday,Corporate Communications Manager of Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah said, “Pilot-in-Command, Captain Adesola Arasi had to contact control tower when he was alerted by the light that came on in the cockpit suggesting that the cargo hold was opened for about 15 seconds and immediately shut”.

“In line with our high security standards and the huge value we place on the lives of our guests and crew, Capt. Arasi insisted on having EOD squad check Flight APK 7138 before takeoff to be doubly sure nothing was deposited in the cargo hold by the suspected thieves to endanger the lives of our guests and crew”.

Also confirming the alleged incident, the General Manager, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said it was just a false alarm as nothing of such happened.

She explained, “It has been confirmed that nothing like that happened,because I was told that Arik was directly behind AirPeace, Arik was following AirPeace on the queue and the pilot on Arik said nobody tampered with AirPeace, maybe according to him, he saw something on the dashboard, he aborted the flight and returned back to base. Arik flight that was following him because there was a radio conversation that nobody was behind him, they opened the cargo hold and nothing was missing, they even brought down all the bags, passengers checked and nothing was missing, there was no complain from passengers maybe it was a malfunction or only God knows what happened or whatever he noticed”

Irked by the denial, the AirPeace spokesman said it was high the agency wake up to its responsibility and stay away from ‘unhealthy denial’
He described the Lagos as porous security wise, adding those involved in the act were experienced people who know the airport very well.
“This is the second time this is happening, it happened a month or so ago, somebody complained they also dismissed it even when the person said my bag was stollen by now we expect FAAN to say how do we stop this. Because for you to open a cargo hold, the person who did that must be very experienced, a novice cannot open a cargo hold, so very experienced persons are doing this things in the airport and it shows that they know the system, so it is time for FAAN to wake up to their responsibilities and ensure that these criminal elements who operate within the airport are checked before it becomes took late, we should not make our self an object of ridicule before the world, enough of this denial”.

“Am not here to join issues with anybody, was she there, was she on the aircraft, was she in charge of the aircraft, the pilot in charge of the aircraft says this was what happened. When the cargo hold is opened for any reason, the light would come on right in the cockpit and that was exactly what happened. Now we are not so much concerned about whether it was opened but our concerned was the safety of our passengers, when the light came on, the pilot had no choice than to call for the EOD to come and screen because it is a security matter, so is not for them to begin to make all sorts off unhealthy denial, we will not join issues with FAAN”, he added.

Mr. Iwarah again emphasized that the said incident actually happened,”We positioned for departure, when this incident happened Arik came behind us and we had to move over to international for screening to be done, Arik came behind us much after, what are to achieve if we keep our passengers waiting, In fact, there was a noise in the aircraft heard by all passenger in the aircraft, the lead crew had to back and check, must they deny everything in the world?”.

“When these issues come up, what we expect FAAN to say is to say okay, how do we stop this thing from happening because it is a very serious security matter, they are suppose to be looking at how they will ensure the porous airport is secured, that should be everybody business at this stage, not this unhealthy denial, for them nothing ever happens, the airport is a perfect system, one day, we will find ourselves in trouble”

“We are sincerely grateful to all our wonderful guests on board Flight 7138 for their support, patience and cooperation throughout the precautionary security checks conducted by Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) squad, Federal Airport Authorities of Nigeria Aviation Security”.

After a thorough security checks, the flight was said to have eventually departed at 9.30pm and safely landed in Abuja at about 10.23pm.

“Our satisfied guests commended the professionalism of Captain Arasi and his team as well as the high safety standards of Air Peace.”

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