Minister of Aviation Suspends Dana Air and Orders Comprehensive Audit Following Runway Incident


The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to suspend Dana Air, a day after one of its aircraft skidded off the runway at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

The minister has also ordered a comprehensive audit of the airline’s operations, encompassing safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health.

In a letter titled ‘Immediate Suspension of Dana Air Pending Safety and Financial Health Audit’ addressed to the NCAA Director-General, Keyamo emphasized the need for immediate action to ensure safety and regulatory compliance.

The minister expressed serious concerns regarding the recent incidents involving Dana Air, both in terms of safety and financial viability.

“As the supervisor overseeing our nation’s aviation safety and regulatory compliance, it has come to the Honourable Minister’s attention that recent incidents involving Dana Airline have raised serious concerns regarding both the safety and financial viability of their operations,” read part of the letter signed by the Permanent Secretary to the Minister, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole.

The comprehensive audit will be aimed at evaluating Dana Air’s adherence to aviation regulations and ensuring that the airline meets all safety and financial standards.

Keyamo stressed the urgency of the matter and called for swift and decisive action to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders involved.

Runway Incident and Temporary Closure:

The incident involving Dana Air occurred on Tuesday, leading the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to temporarily shut down runway 18L/36R at Murtala Mohammed Airport for flight operations.

The runway was reopened on Wednesday morning after FAAN’s emergency response team successfully evacuated and recovered the aircraft.

FAAN’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah, confirmed that comprehensive clearing operations were conducted to ensure the runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris (FOD) that could impede flight safety.

She added that a thorough inspection of the runway surface had been carried out by FAAN’s Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), deeming it safe for the resumption of operations.

Dana Air’s Response:

Dana Air, in a statement issued after the incident, confirmed that the aircraft with 83 passengers flying from Abuja to Lagos had suffered a runway excursion upon landing.

The airline assured that all passengers were safely disembarked with no injuries reported. The aircraft has been grounded by the maintenance team pending further investigation.

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