From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday affirmed that the aborted landing of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft Boeing 777-300 aircraft on Wednesday on runway 18R of the Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos was a normal safety procedure in the global aviation industry.
FAAN Managing Director, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu in an interview with aviation journalists at the agency’s headquarters on late Wednesday evening noted that the decision of the pilot to abort the first landing at was industry standard.
Yadudu, who is an experienced pilot himself insisted that pilots are encouraged to go for a go-around if the situation called for it, stressing that inasmuch as the aircraft had enough fuel in its belly, it doesn’t affect safety.
According to him, pilots were tutored on go-around in the cause of their training, insisting that it was not an abnormal situation and expressed surprise as the controversies the news generated in the media especially in social media.
He said: “A go-around is a normal procedure, not an abnormal situation. Even, abnormal situations are even catered for by the aircraft manufacturers and even the system. In all procedures, you have redundancy, which is also known as alternatives.
“I remember I did a go-around twice in one of our airports. As long as you have enough fuel in your aircraft, you can do a go-around. It is also part of the training we go through. In the cause of your training, you can do a go-around about five or seven times in a flight. Flying is a serious business. We have a duty to report accurately about the industry. Whatever is reported here goes viral. So, everyone has the duty to report accurately and objectively about the industry.”
Besides, Ethiopian has said that that the flight ET 901, which departed from Addis Ababa on its way to Lagos encountered bad weather during landing and made a go-around the airport for better and smooth landing.
Firihiewot Mekonnen, General Mnagger, Ethiopian Airlines, Nigeria insisted that the decision of the pilot to abort the flight when he did was in tandem with standard procedure.
The airline said: “On a second attempt, it made a safe and normal landing. According to safety standard, pilots are encouraged to make a similar go-around in such cases.”
It would be recalled that a report had said on Wednesday that former President Obasanjo and 392 other passengers onboard Ethiopian Airlines aircraft were involved in an incident at the Lagos Airport when the pilot pilot attempted to land on the wet runway, but had to do a “touch and go” in order to avoid overshooting the runway.
The report also mentioned Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, Director-General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Prof. Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of oter Nigerians and other nationals.
The aircraft had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10a.m (Nigerian time) for the over four hours flight to Lagos, but had to immediately takeoff in order to overshoot the runway because of the wet surface.