Why pilots avoid flying Port Harcourt at night – former flight captain



A former flight captain with Allied Airlines, Captain Wale Otubanjo has said most pilots often avoid flying into Port Harcourt at night, describing the runway as a dark hole approach, as there were a lot of trees surrounding it without adequate lighting, which makes it difficult to fly into the airport.

He stated this in Abuja at the just concluded two-day industry engagement on review of accident reports organised by the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N), pointed out that the Port Harcourt runway was notorious for water deposits on its runway, whereby even big aircraft find it difficult to cope.

He urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure implementation of AIB’s safety recommendations before the bad weather sets in, saying the NCAA should ensure that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should implement the recommendations.

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

Insisting that the runway should be closed for proper resurfacing, they added that there was a curvature that needed to be maintained, such that the runway would begin to retain water, even during heavy down pours.

A former flight captain with Allied Airlines, Captain Wale Otubanjo, said most pilots often avoid flying into Port Harcourt at night, describing the runway as a dark hole approach, as there were a lot of trees surrounding it without adequate lighting, which makes it difficult to fly into the airport.

They urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure implementation of AIB’s safety recommendations before the bad weather sets in, saying the NCAA should ensure that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should implement the recommendations.