- Insists Air Traffic Controllers cleared flight to land on Port Harcourt airport runway
Dana Air has pledged to cooperate with the Federal Government in the planned audit of the airline, even as it maintains that its operations are conducted in line with international best practices.
Spokesman for Dana Air Mr. Kingsley Ezenwa told aviation reporters that those who still had doubts about the airline’s safety processes should avail themselves of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) interim report released on Tuesday which had absolved the airline of any blame in the accident which occurred on February 23, 2018 while one of its aircraft was landing on the runway of the Port Harcourt Airport.
The AIB report noted that the airport managers had not drained the runway properly before okaying the aircraft to land on a slippery surface which forced it to skid.
“We welcome the recent audit ordered by the Federal Government, and we are willing to work with the team and the government to demonstrate our commitment not just to flying but to flying safe,” said Ezenwa.
“Considering the safety measures that we have put in place and our huge investment in training and retraining of our crew and pilots, we decided not to join issues, but to rather wait on the report of the AIB, the authentic body responsible for such investigations.
“Dana Air wishes to thank the AIB for releasing the preliminary report on the Port Harcourt runway incident involving one of our aircraft on 23rd of February 2018. Excerpts of the reports confirmed that the Air Traffic Control, an arm of the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency that is saddled with the responsibility of issuing instructions that pilots are required to obey, had cleared the pilot to land at the airport.
“It is pertinent to note that the pilot of that flight has over 30 years experience in the aviation industry and is one of the very best in the country and was headhunted from another domestic airline where he also served as the head of safety and quality standards.
“We wish to thank our esteemed guests for keeping faith with us while the incident was under investigation, and we wish to reassure our guests of our commitment towards providing safe, reliable and affordable air transport,” he added.
It would be recalled that in 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its foreign partners, the Flight Safety Group, had carried out an audit on Dana Air operations following the crash in 2012 and had found nothing wrong with the airline’s safety and security processes. Dana Air also went a step further in its commitment to global safety standards, to subject its operations to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) audit and subsequently became a member in 2016.