Airline safety: Experts want runways shut


Industry experts have expressed concern over the safety of the runway and urged that the runway be shut down for proper resurfacing. 

According to them , the runway should be closed for  proper resurfacing saying there is a curvature that needs to be maintained such that the runway would be able to retain water. 

The experts stated this on Thursday  in Abuja at the just concluded 2-day Industry Engagement on the review of accident reports organized by the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) .

One of the experts, Captain Wale Otubanjo a former flight captain of Allied airlines said most Pilots often avoid flying into Portharcourt in the night,  saying its a dark hole approach, that is the airport has lot of trees surrounding it aand there are no adequate lighting, makes it difficult to fly into the airport. 

They called on NCAA to ensure the implementation of safety recommendations by the Accident Investigation Bureau  before the the advent of the recurrent weather,  saying while AIB has done its part, the NCAA must ensure the Federal Airport Authority implement the recommendations. 

Also, Group Captain Ojikutu raised concerns over the lack of skilled manpower at the NCAA to enforce recommendations are implemented, adding that the runway should have been certified by NCAA for flight operations. 

He said FAAN was suppose to carry out periodic maintenance of the airport, urging the AIB to find out if FAAN has carried out periodic maintenance of the runway also there is need to know when last the Portharcourt airport was audited by the NCAA. 

Also, the NCAA General Manager Air Operator Certification and Surveillance, Godwin Balang in his response said his agency was yet to certify Portharcourt aiirport for flight operations saying oly Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and the the Muritala Mohammed Airport has been certified. 

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