Accra airport congested, as Lagos-bound flights are diverted to neighbouring countries over low visibility
Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have continued to divert their Lagos-bound flights to Ghana and Cotonou as a result of low visibility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Lagos.
BusinessDay’s checks show that Accra airport is currently congested and can no longer take diverted flights.
“The situation is getting worse now. British Airways has a 747 aircraft stuck in Abuja. We have another aircraft stuck in Ghana for two days now. Accra is so full that they say they can no longer take diversion anymore. Even AirPeace could not land this morning. We just hope things get better,”Kola Olayinka, BA’s Country general manager, Nigeria, told BusinessDay.
Emirates, which comes in at 845am was not able to land at Lagos airport.
Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN corporate communications manager, said the situation is also not getting better as domestic airlines have also continued to cancel and delay flights.
“Lufthansa and KLM have been able to land at the airport. Hopefully BA should be able to land this afternoon,” Yakubu said.
For the past three days, British Airways, Air France and Emirates have been diverting their Lagos-bound flights to neighbouring counties because of the inability of pilots to view clearly to land.
“With category 3 ILS, you can be brought down to landing in near zero visibility with precession approach plan indicator (PAPI). Foreign airlines divert because there is no assurance or Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS) to indicate the installed cat 3 ILS are calibrated at an airport that is glorified as certified by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA),” John Ojikutu, member of aviation industry think tank group, Aviation Round Table (ART) and chief executive of Centurion Securities, said.
Ojikutu wondered what makes MMIA certified if it has no functional ILS and one of the major runways has no lightings, adding that thousands of dollars were spent on the installation of CAT3 ILS at the Lagos airport, but sadly, the ILS has not been calibrated.