The menace of bird activities at airports was on Thursday brought to the fore as one of the foreign carriers that fly into Nigeria, Royal Air Maroc, encountered a bird strike incident mid-air shortly after take-off from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Royal Air Maroc is national carrier of Morocco.
The aircraft which departed the airport at 7:00a.m to Morocco, it was learnt, returned to base barely 10 minutes into the journey.
BusinessDay learnt that there were about 126 passengers onboard apart from the airline’s crew when the incident occurred.
BusinessDay gather that as soon as the incident occurred, the pilot was said to have contacted the control tower in Lagos and requested for an emergency landing, which was quickly given him by the air traffic controllers (ATC) on duty.
However, as at the time of filing in this report, the aircraft was still on ground at the Lagos airport while the passengers had been put in a hotel pending the arrival of another aircraft from Morocco.
Air Morocco operates four flights to Lagos weekly: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
A source close to the airline said that the passengers would eventually depart the country on Saturday to Morocco.
When our correspondent contacted the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) for comment on the incident, there was no fruitful response.
The mobile phones of Supo Atobatele, the general manager, public affairs of NAMA, were switched off while Nnamdi Udoh, managing director of the agency, did not respond to the calls put through to him.