Straying cattle yesterday prevented Air Peace flight 5NBQQ, which left Lagos from landing on the runway of Akure Airport in Ondo State minutes after the pilot of the aircraft had initiated landing procedures. It took the combined efforts of various security establishments attached to the airport to clear the animals off the runway for the plane to land having hovered for more than 20 minutes in the air.
Passengers on board the aircraft had become apprehensive when they noticed that it took longer time for the aircraft to commence final descent after the pilot had announced initiating the process demanding passengers and cabin crew to be seated with their seat belts fastened. Sunday Sun learnt that the pilot of the aircraft, Capt Wiliams Inyang, having hovered longer than necessary made contacts with the Control Tower, signaling the intention to make an air return to Lagos airport for the safety of passengers and aircraft.
The Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) that manages the airport has, however, apologised to the airline and the passengers on the flight over the incident. “FAAN wishes to apologize to Air Peace Airlines and our esteemed passengers for a runway incursion incident that prevented an Akure airport bound flight from landing for some minutes,” it’s spokeswoman, Henriatta Yakubu said in a statement.
“The Air Peace flight, which left Lagos for Akure could not land immediately as some cows had strayed into the runway of the airport.
“However, normalcy was restored quickly, as officers of the aviation security department quickly dispersed the cows from the runway and the aircraft was cleared for landing.
“FAAN will like to assure travelers and the general public that efforts are already ongoing to close the gap that aided this incident,” Yakubu added.