• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

FAAN commences investigations into theft of runway lighting components

Airlines cancel, delay flights as unions shut entrances over strike action

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) has commenced into the theft of the runway lighting system on the runway which recently took place at domestic runway, Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.

Funtua Yakubu, the new Director Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at FAAN told BusinessDay that FAAN has commenced investigations into the issue and assured that the authority will do its best to get those behind the criminal act and get them to face the law.

“Once the investigations are concluded, we will let the public know,” he said.

Yakubu said the allegations making rounds that FAAN staff connived with outsiders to carry out the theft are still speculations and can only be proven after the investigations are completed.

He also hinted that the investigations would help FAAN find out the lapses that must be addressed so that such incident doesn’t occur again.

Barely Nine months after FAAN installed the multi-million Naira airfield lighting systems at the domestic runway 18 Runway/36Left of the Murtala Muhamed Airport, BusinessDay’s findings show that the entire lighting system on the runway were carted away by thieves.

The thieves were able to carry out the operations by taking advantage of the closure of the runway for over three months.

A source close at FAAN said that the airfield lighting components were carted away by some workers at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in connivance with some outsiders who have access to the runway site.

The sad development has led to the suspension of some heads of relevant departments at the organisation on the directives of Emmanuel Meribole, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, after inspecting the site.

For 15 years the Lagos airport domestic runway 18Left was shut down to night operations due to the absence of airfield lightings which put the domestic airlines through financial stress as they were forced to make use of the runway 19 at the international airport which consumes more aviation fuel because of the longer distance.

With the Airfield Lighting installed, the unnecessary 10-20 minutes spent and fuel burnt when an aircraft lands on the international runway before taxiing to the domestic, stopped. It also made for aircraft usage maximisation.