…It’s re-opened, says FAAN
Uche Usim, Abuja
There was panic at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Thursday morning, as a Gulfstream IV charter aircraft, belonging to Skybird Aviation, overshot the runway and forced the facility to be partially shut.
The incident occurred late Wednesday night but the effect was mainly felt, on Thursday morning, as flights were disrupted leaving many air travellers stranded.
The travelers had arrived the facility for their various flights only to learn that most of them had been rescheduled.
With NAIA having only one runway (runway 22), it was difficult for airlines to run their usual schedule as the aircraft overshot the runway and got stuck at the Runway End Safety Area (RESA).
Sources at the NAIA say, “The RESA is about 30 meters from Runway 22 end, and the incident happened at about 10.20pm local time yesterday (Wednesday).
“The runway surface was wet at the time of the incident. It is early to say what happened was due to aquaplaning. But AIB officials will certainly investigate what happened”, he said.
Commenting on the development, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said the runway had been re-opened for full flight operations after a partial closure to evacuate the stranded airplane.
Her words, “Following the partial closure of Runway 22 of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 2200hours yesterday, September 12, 2018 due to an incident involving a Gulfstream 4 aircraft being operated by Skybird that overshot the runway while landing and consequently got stuck on the Runway End Safety Area (RESA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has now re-opened the runway to take arrivals and departures, subject to a reduced threshold of 3000 metres,” she said.
However, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised pilots and crews to adhere strictly to weather briefings and observe full aerodrome safety rules, especially during the wet season when the runways would be damp most times.