Flight Dispatchers fault FG’s order to suspend Dana Air over landing mishap

The Flight Dispatchers Association of Nigeria (FLIDAN) has described the suspension of Dana Airline’s operations as “hasty, punitive and should be reversed immediately”.

The Secretary General of FLIDAN, Mrs Victoria Adegbe, said this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN) had on April 24, directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to suspend the airline’s operations.

This directive came after one of the airline’s aircraft, MD-82 with registration number 5N BKI, veered off runway 18L/36R at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja on April 23.

Adegbe said that the association believed that Dana Air, on the other hand, should be applauded for the crew’s bravery and their suspension lifted.

She, however, said that ensuring the continued airworthiness of an aircraft was the sole responsibility of the NCAA and not the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace.

According to her, as long as an airline Air Operations Certificate (AOC) holder can demonstrate that the aircraft is airworthy then it continues to fly, hence, suspending the entire operations of an AOC holder is quite punitive.

Pointing out some noteworthy areas, Adegbe said that the Pilot in Command (PiC) had to do a go-around when he discovered that the landing gear of the aircraft was down but not locked.

“He then landed the aircraft with the nose wheel coming to rest in the soft grass and there were no casualties.

“Evacuation was promptly carried out by the cabin crew in record time. The AIS NOF promptly issued a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) closing the runway 18L/36R.

“The TOWER managed all traffic diverted to second runway 18R/36L, even though the NOTAM stated that runway 18L/36R would be closed for 24 hours, FAAN and NCAA expedited the removal of the aircraft and the runway was opened before midnight April 23.

“If the Nose-wheel issue was detected before the aircraft went airborne, it would be handled as a MEL/CDL item and operations would never have released the aircraft.

“So it could only have come up when airborne. The pilot hence handled as per procedures for abnormal conditions and should be highly commended,” she added.

Adegbe also hinted that abnormal conditions were prepared for by the manufacturer and operators were quite trained to handle such.

“Take for instance, flight dispatchers plan for engine failure for all phases of flight.”

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