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Airlines divert flights to Ghana, Cotonuo over repairs on Lagos airport runway

International airlines on Saturday and Sunday had to divert flights to Ghana and Cotonuo following the closure and rehabilitation of the Murtala Muhammed Airport runway (18R/36L).

Investigations show that late amendment to an already issued Notice to Airmen ( NOTAM) on the closure and rehabilitation of Runway 18R/36L distorted flights coming into the Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed Airport and had to divert because of the earlier information on closure time.

“The earlier NOTAM was amended three hours after issuance of the last NOTAM and a new NOTAM should have been reissued 24 hours before it takes effect instead of amending it on the day it takes effect,” an operator said.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in a letter dated May 24, 2022 to the station manager at the MMIA titled: Rehabilitation of Runway 18R/36L signed by Al-ihekwaba for Airport Manager/Regional General Manager (SW) said the runway will be closed on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) of 28th-29th May, 2022 and 4th-5th June, 2022 from 0600hours-1300hours-UTC to repair a bad patch.

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The letter read,”As a result of the deplorable condition of Runway 18R/36L pavement, I wish to inform you that FAAN civil department will commence an emergency remedial work on the failed distressed pavement.

“Rehabilitation work will only be on the following weekends [Saturdays & Sundays] as follows: 28th-29th May, 2022, 4th-5th June, 2022 Time: 0600hours-1300hours-UTC Daily.

“Runway 18R/36L will be closed during the period of this work and Runways 18L/36R will be used for arrivals and departures. FAAN Management sincerely apologies for the inconveniences.”

However, the NOTAM which was released to Airmen on 28th May 2022, the day the airport was closed has different times for the closure on the NOTAM earlier released, thereby causing untold hardship and bundling the system.