Posted by By Kenneth Ehigiator on
TWENTY-FOUR hours after the Federal Government grounded Boeing 737-100, 200 and 200C series aircraft in the country, based on the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report, some of the affected planes still flew yesterday.
LAGOS—TWENTY-FOUR hours after the Federal Government grounded Boeing 737-100, 200 and 200C series aircraft in the country, based on the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report, some of the affected planes still flew yesterday.
Aviation Minister, Prof. Babalola Borishade, also yesterday issued a statement, asking Aerocontractors and Virgin Nigeria to increase their flight frequencies to Abuja and Port Harcourt to reduce the sufferings of stranded passengers across the country.
A visit to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) yesterday showed airlines using the aircraft type still selling tickets and boarding passengers, even though they received the directive of the Engr. Folashade-led Special Task Force set up by the Aviation ministry to audit aircraft and airlines in the country.
Bellview Airlines’ counter at the local airport was full of passengers purchasing tickets for a flight to Abuja. Similarly, ADC Airlines also sold tickets to passengers travelling to Calabar, while Fresh Air equally sold tickets for Yola.
EAS Airlines was not different, as it also sold tickets to Enugu and Jos-bound passengers. The activities of the airlines took the pressure off the departure lounge of the airport which was jammed with stranded passengers on Saturday.
For the EAS operation, South-East bound passengers would have been completely cut off, because the only two carriers operating flights to the region, Sosoliso and Chanchangi Airlines, are still grounded.
Spokesman for Bellview Airlines, Mr. Habib Mohammed, told Vanguard yesterday that his airline had the clearance of the relevant authorities to fly. According to him, Bellview Airlines’ management has rectified the identified faults pointed out by the FAA report issued in 2000.
The special panel had in the letter sent to all operators of the Boeing 737-100, 200 and 200C aircraft type said: “The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States has received a report of stress corrosion cracks discovered by the operators during regular maintenance in the front spar of the centre section of the horizontal stabilizer in two Boeing 737-100, 200 and 200C series airplanes.
“The repetitive inspection was, therefore, called up to address identified unsafe conditions. In this regard, as a precautionary measure, all operators of the Boeing model airplanes registered in Nigeria are to immediately ground their airplanes.”
Speaking in the same vein, spokesperson for ADC Airlines, Ranti Ufere, told Vanguard that the airline had proven to the relevant authorities that it had cleared the identified fault, hence it was able to fly throughout the weekend.
She said: “The letter came late on Friday, and it said show proof that you have done these checks, and ADC showed that we have done the checks. ADC has filed documents to show it has complied. That is why they gave us clearance to fly, including on Saturday.”
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