Air Peace burglary report unproven –NCAA

Written by on February 12, 2018

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says the burglary attempt on the cargo compartment of an Abuja-bound Air Peace aircraft on Runway 18R of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, was unfounded.

The incident was reported last week Thursday to Control Tower officials by the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) of the Air Peace flight APK 7138 with aircraft number 5N-BUJ.

Spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, in a statement yesterday, faulted the pilot’s assertion of burglars attacking his aircraft cargo compartment, saying a review of all the reports from relevant agencies at the Lagos airport of the incident had led to the conclusion that the theft incident on the aircraft was unfounded.

“The NCAA came to the conclusion that the Runway 18R burglary report is unproven, largely unsubstantiated and therefore should be discountenanced,” Adurogboye said. In a swift reaction, however, the spokesman for Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, accused the NCAA of trying to coverup the inefficiencies of airport security and regulatory agencies to stem the rising cases of aircraft cargo theft at the Lagos airport.

Recall that last week Thursday, the PIC of Air Peace Flight APK 7138 with aircraft 5N-BUJ had alerted the Lagos Control Tower that the aircraft’s AFT cargo compartment had been opened. It would be the third time in about three months that airline owners and pilots would report the burglary of their aircraft while still taxiing on the runaway of the Lagos airport.

Air Peace spokesman, Iwarah, in a reaction to the NCAA position, said: “While we remain unwilling to be drawn into unnecessary controversy with agencies that ought to have been jolted into action from their slumber by patriotic information as we did on the incident, we are compelled to say the purported report by NCAA is both a lazy and a shoddy cover-up job.

“We will like to advise NCAA and its collaborators to treat complaints of security breach at our airports with the seriousness they deserve rather than this culture of baseless denial and attempt at cover-up. As members of the public may recall, similar incidents reported recently were also dismissed without a basis

“We need to reiterate that our pilot’s call to control tower was made after the rear cargo hold of our aircraft was opened and shut after 15 seconds,” Iwarah added.

The burglary attack on Air Peace would be the third of such incidents at the runway of the Lagos airport in recent months.

The first incident was reported on the night of December 12, 2017 and it involved a Vista Jet aircraft with call sign VJT 584, while taxiing on the runway after its arrival from Istanbul, Turkey.

The attacker had forced open the rear door of the aircraft and made away with a big black bag belonging to the air hostess. The second incident involved a chartered aircraft carrying two prominent Nigerian artistes – Tiwa Savage and Ayo Balogun (popularly known as Wizkid). The cargo compartment of the chartered private jet the two artistes flew from Uyo to Lagos was burgled while taxing to its hanger and their luggage stolen.

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